Leaders of the Bike & Build group say they're shaken by the news of the death of a rider who was hit by a car in Oklahoma Thursday.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said a car hit Patrick Wanninkhof, 25, on Highway 152 south of Elk City on Thursday, July 30, 2015. The OHP said the car also hit another rider in Wanninkhof's group, 22-year-old Bridget Anderson. Troopers said the driver - Sarah Morris, 34 - told them she was distracted by looking at her phone when she hit the bicyclists.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Friday the wreck is still under investigation. They’re waiting for the toxicology report on the driver of the car and are checking to see exactly what she was doing on her phone when the wreck happened. The OHP said it will probably be a couple of weeks before they have anything to report, including a decision about whether she should be charged with something more serious than inattentive driving.
In a statement on its web site, Bike & Build said Anderson sustained serious leg injuries and was in critical condition at OU Medical Center.
Bike & Build, based in Philadelphia, organizes cross-country bike rides where participants raise money for affordable housing. Wanninkhof was a route leader for this particular ride, which was going from Maine to Santa Barbara, California and is called ME2SB for short. The group made a stop in Tulsa last weekend, where they worked with Habitat for Humanity on Sunday, July 26, 2015.
According to the statement, Bike & Build is in contact with the Wanninkhof and Anderson families and has offered to provide whatever support is needed. It also says it has arranged for the riders in the ME2SB group to spend extra time in Wheeler, Texas, where grief counselors from a church are available to help.
A leader of Bike & Build is traveling to Texas to meet with the ME2SB team Friday night to coordinate activities.
Build & Bike said it will announce plans for a memorial for Wanninkhof as soon as they're finalized. It will also help members of the ME2SB team attend the service.
Anderson is from Port Orange, Florida. Wanninkhof was from Key Biscayne, Florida, but had been living in the Bronx, New York where he was a physics teacher.
In its statement, Bike & Build said Wanninkhof's sister, Suzette, completed the South Carolina to Santa Cruz trip in 2014.
he staff and board of Bike & Build finished the statement with this:
"We are all shaken by this terrible news, and this will be a difficult time for everyone in our community. We have solace in the strength of the Bike & Build community, which we will count on to support each other as we respond to this tragedy."