SUV Kills Recent Westfield State Grad During Charity Bicycle Ride in Ohio

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OAK HARBOR, Ohio (WGGB/AP) — The State Highway Patrol says a 21-year-old bicyclist from Massachusetts was struck and killed in northwest Ohio while riding across the country to raise money to benefit people with multiple sclerosis.

Troopers say Emily Gagnon, of Holliston, Mass., was struck from behind by a sport utility vehicle Monday evening in Ottawa County, about 15 miles southeast of Toledo.

The patrol says the recent Westfield State University graduate was wearing a helmet but suffered fatal injuries.

Troopers say the 49-year-old Martin woman driving the SUV was facing glare and was adjusting her sun visor when she hit Gagnon. The SUV driver wasn’t hurt.

The patrol says speed and alcohol aren’t considered factors in the crash. There was no immediate word on any charges, and the investigation is ongoing.

A statement from Westfield State reads, in part:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of the accident which took the life of Emilee Gagnon. Emilee was a May 2013 Westfield State University graduate and a Commonwealth Honors Scholar, the most prestigious recognition in the public higher education system. Emilee majored in Art and minored in both French and Ethnic and Gender studies. She left an indelible mark on the faculty, staff and students of the Westfield State art department and in the Honors Program with whom she regularly interacted.”

“Emilee was literally a walking piece of art work herself. She wore vibrant beautiful clothes and did a lot of creative, colorful things with her hair. She was a wonderful, wonderful student who provided a lot of positive energy, joy and talent to the art department. She will be missed,” said Professor Jamie Wainright, Chair, Westfield State’s Art department.”

  • DebbieInMa

    People need to SLOW down when approaching a bicyclist, and when possible, push over. (ESPECIALLY if they are part of a group.)
    (I know, some bicylists aren’t considerate of automobiles, but STILL, we need to be respectful of their lives.)
    God Bless Emily and the driver of the SUV.

    I know how BAD sun glare can be. Blinding !
    That’s something Cyclists need to be mindful of when riding at those times of day. Just because they can see, doesn’t mean we can see them.
    My Dad cycles and I worry for his safety.
    My Mom is handicap and depends on him coming home each time.
    (He’s her 24/7 caregiver.)
    Peace to the family and friends of Emily.