Biker Down – Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson

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2 Cyclists Killed In S.Bay Crash With Deputy’s Car
Two bicyclists were killed and another suffered critical injuries after a Santa Clara Sheriff’s vehicle plowed into the riders while on patrol in Cupertino on Sunday. One of the victims was an Olympic hopeful from Oakland.

…Friends of the cyclists identified the two riders who were killed as 31-year-old Kristy Gough of Oakland and another as 29-year-old Matt Peterson of San Francisco.

“We just lost a couple of phenomenal human beings. The fact that they were tremendous athletes is really beyond the point as well, although they both were. Christy was on her way to the Olympic trials, and Matt was a phenomenal rider. It’s very distressing,” said Gebhart Evanhook, who was riding just behind the cyclists who were hit.
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A tough one for a Monday morning.

Hell, a tough one for any day.

From: Ralph
Subject: Cyclist down
This is a nasty one:
Don’t know how long it will be at that address.

I was riding with a couple of women to help them train for a ride and the officer in the car passes us just moments before the collision. I got to hear the scream and thud. Around the corner I went to see what had happened. I think I was first on the scene. Bad juju. I gave what aid I could, next to nothing, and put out some flares. Untangled the 20 yr old from his bike and tried to comfort him a bit. When the ambulances got there my party left to ride back to our starting point.

Before it happened I was glad to see the sheriff out there because of the speeders…. who would have guessed?

Ugly business.

Yes. It is ugly business.

Keep your head up, Ralph. And thanks for everything you were able to do in that situation. For whatever its worth, I appreciate it.

From: Joe
Subject: 3 riders down in Bay Area
Cop crosses the yellow line killing two and injuring a third. When will it end? Of course the article implies that the riders may have been at fault even though the cop crossed the yellow line! The newspapers need to know this is wrong … send them a letter (see email in link).

“It’s unclear if the four cyclists involved in the crash were riding as part of larger group, but Morrissey said they may have been doing a training ride.

Other cyclists noted that riders in large groups will sometimes ride two-abreast. The practice is not illegal but can be extremely dangerous on narrow, winding roads with a large amount of traffic. It was unclear if the cyclists involved in this crash were doing so.”

As always, my heartfelt condolences to everyone involved.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

38 Replies to “Biker Down – Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson”

  1. to protect and serve….

    Pigs Suck…..Run the Fucker Over…..Then His whole Family….

  2. That’s some fine journalism from Mercury. From the pictures posted with it, I’m guessing that their reporter didn’t make it past the roadblock. Maybe if he had seen the car buried wrongway into the ditch without a single skid mark to be seen he wouldn’t have gone into reflexive dickhead mode and presumed that the cyclists were riding dangerously.

  3. Whoa, that Mercury News piece is goddamned bad! Thanks for pointing it out. I love the part about the cyclists colliding with the patrol car. I wrote a little more about this on A creepy incident coming so quickly on the heels of a sheriff’s deputy deliberately driving head-on into Tucson’s Shootout ride two weekends ago.

    Erik Ryberg

  4. Psst Erik…

    Your link is broken. Throw on that “www.” business and it will work.


    My heart goes out to the families of those struck down.

  5. “Witnesses said they overheard the deputy saying he may have fallen asleep at the wheel. While the deputy was on patrol, he was not responding to a call, or speeding at the time of the crash, authorities said.”

    Damn… only takes a moment…
    My condolences

  6. I notice that Seattle’s finest are some of the most distracted drivers around. They are always on their radios and/or watching their laptop computers while driving and/or watching for perps. I know it is part of the job, but add in that they are frequently on their personal cell phones, it is no wonder that they don’t kill more people.

  7. In most of the reports I saw previously it was Deputy Dog’s car that did the deed…

    I guess the putz behind the wheel had nothing to do with it.

  8. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. I dont EVER want to ride the road EVER EVER EVER again.

    Reading this just makes me so depressed and angry and… fuck. fuck fuck.

    Not to mention the Bay Area cops were NEVER really bike-friendly to begin with. (In any interaction I had with them…)

    Cops have one of the single most difficult jobs out there, but goddamn if I don’t want this fucker to pay in blood.


  9. …this incident seems particularly egregious & the fact that it was ‘local’ perhaps makes it more painful for me…despite the size of the bay area, as a cyclist, you’re probably no more than two degrees of separation from hundreds of thousands of other enthusiastic cyclists…

    …my heart goes out to the family & friends of everyone involved & at this point that includes the cop…if he did fall asleep at the wheel as he alleged at the scene, it in no way exonerates him but he had to have the presence of mind to immediately assist the victims knowing full well he created the tragedy…
    …most drivers would sit there stunned while passers-by rendered assistance or as frequently happens, even flee…

    …if electronic records indicate he was simply distracted by cell phone or in-car computer usage, i’ll be the first to vilify him, & suggest big jail time…initial photos & reports would lead one to extrapolate that he had, as stated, fallen asleep…although the road at that spot is winding, the vehicle lane is substantial & there is a reasonably wide shoulder or ‘bike lane’…the deputy drifted out of his lane, across the oncoming traffic & bike lanes & ended up on the hillside opposite his direction of travel…there was indication of one tiny last moment skidmark…
    …i would suggest a distracted person & a ‘professional’ in particular, would have started to react much sooner…no excuse but somehow easier to understand…

    …i know mine won’t be a popular viewpoint, being that cops generally show a dispassionate viewpoint of cyclists but this incident was horrible enough w/ out escalating the negativity…
    …then again, if the deputy had any traces of residual alcohol in his blood or if electronic device usage at that moment is revealed, then his ‘brother’ officers should part the ‘wall of blue’ & let the court make him pay w/ serious jail time…

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  11. …btw, art & eric, quite right regarding san jose mercury news…establishing your credentials to be a reporter for them seems to hinge on the question “you willin’ ta work cheap ?” & that certainly defines the quality &/or integrity in this case…

    …bikepunk, i read recently that the bay area has maybe the highest number of cycling/vehicular incident rates (per capita) in the world…& ya, i agree that while a cops job is tough, we don’t get much cooperation from them around here…

    …& it was a bad fucking weekend for cyclists in the bay area: along w/ this major fatality accident, there was a hit & run in sf which hospitalized the cyclist & killed her dog…at least the driver later showed some remorse & turned himself in…
    …& in woodside, not far, as the crow flies from the fatality scene, another cyclist was medi-vac-ed to the hospital after an encounter w/ a ‘small’ suv…most details were overshadowed by the major incident…

    …all in all, not very encouraging for “sharing the road”…

  12. What really makes me crazy about this type of thing is that people react by trying to “protect” cyclists by telling them where we should not ride. I have experienced some of the most rude and dangerouse behavior from motorists who were “afraid” for my safety. It just justifies their believe that we should just get off the road…

    Can’t we just work at educating drivers about the rules of the road, that bicyclists have the right to be there, rather than telling bicylists not to run stoplights?

  13. I have been following this one since Sunday and the comments section of some of the articles is out of control, and some sites have blocked comments on the article. what i was able to read before they were blocked had about 2-1 in favor of the cyclists, especially those who had read articles with more picture coverage of the wrecks first. Too bad CA has dropped the death penalty for murder… Not that the Sherrif’s deputy will ever see the inside of a courtroom as a defendant.

  14. bikesgonewild: it stings a little when you first learn you’re unpopular, but it’s nothing a good, fast bike ride or two won’t cure.

    re: the ‘blame the cyclist / kill the driver’ split that dominates virtually every internet discussion following a serious car/bike accident: it’s shows a charmingly dualistic ‘Old Testament’ way of looking at things, but as far as I can see only shuts down thought, and gets in the way of coming up with new ideas for effectively changing the dominant US consumerist/car culture. And, it’s getting more than a little boring.

    re: riding on the road: if anybody on here hasn’t discovered it yet, Robert Hurst’s ‘The Art of Cycling’ is a real good, readable book on keeping safe in traffic. In my opinion, worth reading whatever your skill level. It’ll at least increase the odds that you won’t be hurt in a preventable accident. As for the other kind? I could hide in my basement, avoid getting hit by a car, but still get radon poisoning. Something’s gonna getcha someday.

  15. FUCK, FUCK , FUCK. The account from Ralph makes me sick. I have gone through the windshiled of a car, lucky to still be here. He will never get what he saw out of his head, and those families will never get their loved ones back…..all b/c a douche bag pulled a 12 hour shift and fell asleep or worse, was on the cell.

    Think what you want about Z-man, but at least he is doing something…. this needs some press for bike rights.

  16. This one sucks. Bikepunk is right…spring is about to break here and I have been waiting to get out…now I am glad to be indoors.
    Something I never say.

    My thoughts and condolence to their families.

  17. the town i grew up in.. man. shocked.. but the stuff that happened
    to me as a rider there was insain.

    RIP always

  18. barber’s adagio
    I remember a pickup truck spinning out in front suburban houston bike club, 4 down 2 dead a while back.

    I just moved here from Texas, that little stretch was the one of the first places I rode.
    Looks like the guy fell asleep & crossed the line.
    Not a monster, it just happens sometimes.
    The cops out here have been driving crazy all day’s got em all twisted.

    In Texas, I always figured it would be a redneck in an F150 after a couple beers would take me out, if ever won the fender lottery.

    Make sure to wear a helmet, & put up another ghost bike.

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  20. …i may be very wrong in my assessment of the help i assumed the deputy was able to offer victims…

    …it seems that intelligent response by other cyclists played a bigger role…

    …apparently training didn’t prepare the deputy for something of this nature…

  21. Matt was a teammate as well as a good friend. I was able to share in his joy when he won the race that he’s been wanting to win for over 3 years. This was last weekend. This weekend the photos I printed for him sit in my office.

    I never had the opportunity to give them to him.


  22. San Fran here. Normally the first to blame the fuck in the car, but this one is shaping up as just a terrible accident… straightaway followed by an easy right jog, and the cop drifts off asleep, fucked up, but not some drunk/cocky/angry fuck in a Hummer, just a guy that made a terrrible mistake, yeah, he should have known better, but how many times have any of us said that before riding home drunk (my bike knows the way)?. My heart goes out to the family.

  23. *wiping the tears from my eyes at the last photos*

    RIP Matt & Kristi, may the memory of you serve the people who knew you well.

    it’s nothing but a tragedy for all involved. my heart goes out to their friends and families. a cyclists life is worth the same as any other and should be avenged.

    to the deputy: may you-know-who have mercy on your soul. if the law don’t getcha your conscience will.

    and shame on all people who don’t listen to that voice in their head that says “I am a danger to myself and all around me due to being too tired to pilot a lethal weapon, I should take a nap on the side of the road.”

  24. This response in from Leslie Griffy @ Mercury News…

    “There’s already been several follow up stories. I have a feeling that people are reading very early web versions of the story that didn’t include a great deal of information that was released later. I think that someone might have simply copied and pasted the information on to their blog or an e-mail. However, we were the first news outlet to report the deputy hadn’t been tested for drugs and alcohol, as well as the first to report yesterday that he may have fallen asleep. It will take, likely, months for the CHP to finish its investigation, but we do plan on staying on top of the story.

    Hope that helps.”

  25. The Mercury is reporting that the deputy was on probation previously for street racing. This kid is going to have to face responsibility for his actions. Two witnesses have overheard him saying he feel asleep. Let’s pray the “Blue Wall” does not go up to protect this officer. Justice is needed. Peace

  26. As many of you know I keep a blog dedicated to bike safety and following up on wrecks, and this morning it took 3 hours just to sort through all the links to this wreck, including the time it took to reboot my computer after it crashed from all the open browser windows. 3 hours just chasing down links, not even including writing commentary for those links. this has turned into a category 2 shit hurricane in the Bay area and it’s spreading…


  27. I am so fucking pissed about this.

    It’s just fucking awful. Awful, awful.

    It’s so goddamn fucking wrong and so fucking sad.

    I 90% hung up my RB after Big J. got hit. It’s just criminally unsafe on the fucking road, and I love the fucking road.

  28. “A second man who came upon the accident, 39-year-old Bryce Renshaw of San Jose, said he heard the deputy say, “My life is over.””

    -His- life is over..?!

    What about the lives of the two cyclists he snuffed out just so he could get in a couple hours of overtime?

    he rest of the article is at:

  29. This is a shame! I’m appalling but not shocked, all to often I see “the law” committing traffic violation. Who governs them? I’m outrage by this tragic event.

  30. Under state law, a drowsy driver is an impaired driver. DWI – driving while impaired, which falls under DUI – driving under the influence. A punishable offense.
    We have all seen in news video people being arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the back of law enforcement vehicles when this offense has been commited, especially when there are fatalities. Bobbo, are you reading this? No blue wall eh? Are you sure. Deputy sheriff council’s father claims his son is getting no special treatment. Yeh sure. Deputy sheriff council is on a paid vacation for commiting a punishable offense.
    The Santa Clara Co. sheriffs’ dept. released a statement about promoting bicycle safety awareness by cracking down on wayward cyclists. How is this going to help us from wayward motorists?
    It feels like the Santa Clara Co. sheriffs’ dept. are protecting their own. Do they really think they are above the law? That they cannot be held accountable for their actions? How do they expect for the public to trust them when this is the kind of integrity they demonstrate.

  31. Pigs Suck…..Run the Fucker Over…..Then His whole Family. Ya that makes sense maybe a little child of his! Sort of like the bikers that were killed, innocent. You need to get a life. What he did though wrong and terrible was probably an accident. Should he be punished? Absolutly but it happens all the time with vehicles and bikes and before we should kill the cops family maybe channel some of your stupidity and anger to making all of Americe more bike knowledgable and friendly. Hell this tragic story that happens every where and thank God this year as I got tagged I was about 6 inchs from death. The man wasnt paying attention! I feel no need to kill his family. Maybe change the damn state governement to putting in some road where bikes can travel safely. Or the NC Highway patrol could have charged him for hit and run and no license? And more importantly educate the masses about us and that we are not causing traffic we are traffic. And ya the article was pure shit as they started to blame the cyclist or at least left an idiot that doesnt know any better think it may be us again. Wayward cyclists my ass!

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