Updates: July 1, 2008 — (See comments below) Deputy is charged
March 15, 2008 — “1,000 attend memorial bike ride”
Dead are Kristy Gough, 31, of Oakland, and Matt Peterson, 30, of San Francisco. The highly ranked amateur cyclists (Gough was a pro triathlete as well) were in a group of at least four that were riding on Stevens Pass Road, a popular road for cyclists.
Peterson died at the scene and Gough died after being airlifted to Stanford University Hospital. According to news reports, dozens of cyclists gathered there. A third cyclist, Christopher Knapp, 20, of Germany was listed in stable condition.
Gough was a professional tri-athlete who had taken up cycling with the Third Pillar Amateur Road Racing team. She had participated in about a half-dozen road races and criteriums in California already this year, according to the USA Cycling website.
They both raced at the Merco Credit Union event in Merced on March 1 and 2, both winning their category in the criterium; Gough won the road race the next day.
Friends at a candlelight vigil Sunday night at Ocean Beach told a reporter that Peterson was single, grew up in Arizona before moving to the Bay Area, and worked as a senior buyer at Wal-Mart's website. He used to weigh 250 pounds before he started training hard at cycling.
The SFGate story “Victim always trying to do the hardest thing” tells about Peterson's drive, and his long-time desire to win the trophy at Merced.
A friend said Gough was coming into peak condition as an athlete. “She wanted to do Ironman Triathlons.” But two trainers from Belarus had different plans, fellow cyclist Matt Willinger told SFGate in “Kristy Gough: Triathlete with bright future.”
“They wanted her to go to the Olympics and to world championships for cycling…. She was on her way to something great.”
She had won her age group in the Hawaii Ironman in 2004, and finished third in a UK Ironman in 2006.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating; the deputy — identified as James Council, 27 — has been put on administrative leave. Apparently he was on routine patrol. Several reports state that witnesses saw the deputy pacing back and forth, saying “I must have fallen asleep.”
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