On June 8th, 2008, two avid cyclists were enjoying a ride on Camp Wisdom Road in Grand Prairie, Texas. It was Sunday morning around 8:20 on a part of the road that is not heavy in traffic because it is close to the lake and surrounded by residential neighborhoods. This morning, Meredith Hatch and Mike Alfaro were struck by a drunk driver and killed instantly.
Several things touched me personally and have stuck with me. The first was the memorial ride on Tuesday gave the family a chance to grieve with folks they knew and strangers they didn't. Mike's mom went to every rider and hugged them and thanked them. Meredith's family was present and thanked everyone. I did not know either Mike or Meredith, but felt connected to them by the passion they had for cycling.
The second thing that struck me was after the silent memorial ride that Tuesday I went to the crash site. It was just 2 1/2 days after the accident and there was a ghost bike. The bike is a reminder to anyone driving on that street of June 8th. Every time since the accident that I am in the vicinity of Grand Prairie I stop by the ghost bike and say a prayer for the riders and all families that have lost a loved one.
From CBS 11 News:
Family and friends are mourning two bicyclists killed in Grand Prairie by a suspected drunk driver.
Police say the driver, 24-year-old Kenneth Bain, was coming from a bachelor party at 8:15 a.m. Sunday.
Bain, according to police, struck Meredith Hatch and Mike Alfaro from behind with a Lincoln Navigator. The collision was so harsh it tore up the hood of the car and killed the two cyclists instantly.
Hatch and Alfaro both usually ride with their cycling group. But friends say they were the only two bicyclists who wanted to train on Sunday morning. "They usually park over by the marina by Joe Pool Lake," said Kim Kucera, Hatch's friend. "It's something they do they did often."
Both of the cyclists were from Mansfield and loved in their community. Hatch built two educational daycares. One of them had just recently opened.
Friends say there were two things Hatch cared about most: family and cycling. Pictures show her with them at a recent Ironman competition at Disneyworld in Florida.
"They all went and cheered her on," said Kucera. "She had to finish the last mile running barefoot because she got dirt in her shoes she got blisters."
Her shoes will now be impossible to fill.
"With all the groups she touched, rotary, Mansfield school… whoever was able to meet her was lucky," said Kucera.
Hatch's 12-year-old son wants to start an award for people who show the kind of character his mom had.
Alfaro is survived by his wife Alisa Alfaro.
Bain is charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. His bond has been set at $50,000, but he could bail out with just $5,000.
Meredith, 38, leaves behind three children and Mike, 36, leaves behind one child.