From this article:
Truck hits, kills cycling leader
Posted: Sunday, July 18, 2010
A leader of the local cycling community was killed Saturday morning in an accident south of Canyon.
Trooper Gabriel Medrano, Texas Department of Public Safety
spokesman, said Cynthia "Cindy" Whitney, 54, of Amarillo was riding a
bicycle about 8:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 87, near the Hungate Road
intersection, when she was struck by a Ford F-250 pickup driven by Gaige
Thomas Sippy of Canyon.
Whitney was pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace Jerry Bigham of Canyon. She was wearing a helmet, Medrano said.
Troopers who responded to the accident reported Sippy was
southbound on U.S. 87 when he dropped his cell phone and took his eyes
off the road to pick it up. His vehicle veered and hit Whitney, who also
was southbound, according to the report. Medrano didn't know if Sippy
was issued a citation. The posted speed limit on that portion of U.S. 87
is 70 mph.
Whitney was a prominent member of the Old Tascosa Cycling Club and had served on its board of directors.
Rodney Hess, president of the Old Tascosa Cycling Club, said his
group likely will host a ceremony to remember Whitney but is unsure
about when it would schedule the event.
Hess said Whitney was riding with a large group before the
accident. He said the group members eventually split up and Whitney was
riding with two or three other people when she was struck.
Hess said he was called to the scene so he could drive a few of the cyclists home.
"Some of them didn't want to ride back for one reason or another," he said.
"She was just a great advocate of cycling and was involved with the
club for multiple years. She was just real supportive of the cycling
Whitney's family members declined to comment Saturday, but friends
involved with the Old Tascosa Cycling Club praised her efforts to boost
local interest in cycling.
"She was the matriarch of our cycling community. Not in the sense
of age, but in the sense that, when we came together, she was always
there," said Kenneth Graham, a club member. "She was very much a strong
female leader. Whether it be a riding or social event, she was always a
leader in helping us spreading the word about things that we wanted to
do. She was just a go-to person whenever we were trying to figure out
what event we might do."
Some of the events that Whitney assisted with through the years
included the Ride of Silence, 24 Hours in the Canyon and Pain on the
Whitney will be remembered at the next Ride of Silence, which
memorializes the lives of cyclists who have died in bicycle-related
accidents. The event has cyclists ride in silence and is dedicated to
more than a decade's worth of lives lost on the road.
"The very first year (of the Ride of Silence), Cindy's networking
assured that the inaugural ride was a success," Graham said, "and we've
done it six years now."
Amarillo Mayor Debra McCartt, a cyclist herself, said she has come
close to being hit while riding. She said increasing cyclist safety has
been one of the priorities of the city.
"I hate to hear that," she said about the accident Saturday. "We're
getting ready to put out more signs for bicyclists and motorcyclists. I
think it's critical that we're all aware of people on the road."
From Cindy's Obituary:
Cynthia Sue "Cindy" Jenks Whitney, 54, of Amarillo died tragically Saturday, July 17, 2010.
She was hit by a truck while cycling with a smile on her face doing what she loved. She is missed by all who knew and loved her.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday in Saint Stephen United
Methodist Church with Dr. Jim Smith, senior pastor emeritus,
officiating. Burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Arrangements are
by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Cindy was born Aug. 24, 1955, in Dodge City, Kan., to Ralph and
Berniece Jenks. She married Rod Whitney on June 17, 1978, in Amarillo
and had a beautiful daughter in 1994, who she loved dearly.
Cindy graduated from Amarillo College and West Texas A&M
University with a BBA in CIS and accounting. Cindy dedicated herself to
her work as a software engineer in the computer programming world at
Corporate Systems for 19 years, Alltel Information Systems for nine
years, and First American Bank and Citigroup buyout and other contract
programming banking conversions. She was a stock market watcher and
trader - Go Bulls!
Cindy loved life and her family. She was an avid snow skier,
cycling instructor and a member of the Old Tascosa Cycling Club. She was
a dedicated road bike cyclist, easily riding more than 100 miles a week
as her social event.
Cindy was a dedicated member and volunteer of Saint Stephen United Methodist Church and sang with the Celebration Singers.
The family asks that motorists put their cell phones away while
driving and pay attention to cyclists on the road - Give them the right
of way that is legally theirs!
Survivors include her husband, Rod Whitney of Amarillo; a daughter,
Kristen Whitney of Amarillo; two sisters, Lisa Jenks Graden and husband
Duane of Allen and Annette Jenks of Amarillo; two brothers, Rodney
Jenks and wife Marsha of Keller and Steven Jenks and wife Leslie of
Platte City, Mo.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to Amarillo
Community Federal Credit Union, 6100 West Interstate 40, Amarillo, TX
79106, under Cindy Whitney's name for Kristen's college fund; or
National MS Society, All-America Chapter, 6222 Canyon Drive, Amarillo,
TX 79109; main.nationalmssociety.org/goto/cindywhitney.
Amarillo Globe-News, July 21, 2010