Lees-McRae College mourns death of cycling team member

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Megan Baab, a freshman member of the Lees-McRae College cycling team, was struck head-on and killed while on a training ride near the North Carolina college on Thursday afternoon.

The driver of the pickup truck, a student at a nearby college, had fallen asleep at the wheel and veered into the oncoming lane.

College president Barry Buxton said she was airlifted to the Johnson City (Tennessee) Medical Center, but was unable to survive her injuries.

“We all remember Megan as a bright and bubbly member of our campus community.  She always had a smile and on her face and a friendly word to say.  Her contributions to our campus were noteworthy, even though we were only able to share a single semester with her.  We send our most heartfelt condolences to her family and friends in Texas and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Baab attended L.D. Bell High School in Euless, Texas, a suburb of Fort Worth. She raced there at the Superdrome outdoor cycling track in Frisco and was a member of the FCS Metro Volkswagen Cycling Team.

The driver of the pickup truck, Mitchell Epley, 19, of Marion, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, according to GoBlueRidge.net. He told police that he was heading home for the holidays and had fallen asleep after completing exams at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

Lees-McRae College is in Banner Elk, in the Blue Ridge of western North Carolina.

The college is known as a cycling powerhouse with more than 10 national championships since 2003. Last spring, the college announced it would be the first in the nation to offer a minor degree in Bicycle Studies.

In January 2011, team member Carla Swart also died from injuries she received on a training ride in her home of South Africa.

Check back to the Lees-McRae website for upcoming details about memorial services.

Our condolences to her family and all her friends.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2011/12/16/lees-mcrae-college-mourns-death-of-cycling-team-member/

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