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The Southwest Utah Bureau is based in the St. George area, and the reporting focuses on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues, faith and spirituality and other topics of relevance to Utahns.

Ghost bikes memorialize two cyclists killed in Washington City

Ghost Bikes, Washington City, April 22, 2022
Lexi Peery
/
KUER
Local leaders, bicycle advocates and residents gathered at a memorial in Washington City for two bicyclists who were killed by an impaired driver, April 22, 2022.

A temporary memorial opened Friday for two bicyclists killed in Washington City on April 9. A coalition of local leaders and safety advocates are calling on drivers to share the road.

The pair of white bikes honor Matthew and Adam Bullard, brothers riding in a local bike race who were struck by a car. The driver was impaired and has been charged with multiple counts, including automobile homicide, driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Dannielle Larkin, who is with Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance and a St. George City Council member, said the area has the infrastructure to keep people safe, it just needs to be used correctly.

“These two riders that died were 100% using our facilities safely — exactly how they were supposed to be used,” Larkin said. “Then somebody chose to use her car in the wrong way, and they're gone because of that.”

The area is a popular spot for outdoor recreation and athletic competitions, the upcoming World Championship Ironman will go through Washington City. Mayor Kress Staheli said the tragedy has hit home for residents. He said they have no tolerance for impaired or distracted driving.

“The lifestyle here is just so conducive to running and biking and being outdoors,” he said. “So those who are driving, those who are visiting and those who live here all the time, the message is just to slow down, to be aware and to share the road.”

Scott Lowrey and Evan Sanders were at the memorial wearing bright racing spandex. They’re with the Southern Utah Triathlon Club and Sanders said they wear flashy colors when on the road so they can go home to their families “after every ride.”

“I have about a near miss a month, but for the thousands of people that give me personally the room to ride, all it takes is one to have a really bad outcome,” Lowrey said. “As traffic goes up I’m hoping that my one near miss a month won’t increase.”

The ghost bikes memorial will be in place until a more permanent one is installed at a later date.

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