Community gathers to honor the life of bicyclist killed in downtown Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A community remembrance event took place on Thursday to honor the life of Bridget Musser, the bicyclist killed in a Sept. 1 accident in downtown Topeka.
Bike Topeka says Bridget Ann Musser Gakle was killed as she was biking through traffic in downtown Topeka on Sept. 1. In her honor, it said the Topeka Rescue Mission and Mobile Access Partnership hosted a balloon release at noon on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the MAP site at Topeka First United Methodist Church at 6th and Topeka Blvd.
The public was invited to the balloon release to show their support for Musser’s family and friends.
Bike Topeka indicated that Police Chief Brian Wheeles has been communicating with members of the Complete Streets Advisory Committee about the details of Musser’s crash. He said that around 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 1, Musser was riding northbound, downhill, on the eastern sidewalk along Kansas Ave. toward 4th St.
Meanwhile, the driver of a Waste Management truck with a roll-off dumpster had been headed south on Kansas Ave. and turned left onto 4th St. The driver never saw Musser and she did not have enough time to get out of the way of the truck.
Police said that Musser hit the rear of the truck and may have gone underneath its wheels. The driver then stopped when he felt the impact, but did not suspect that he had hit anyone.
TPD officers said they were able to pull video footage of the intersection to investigate the crash.
Moving forward, Bike Topeka said that the Topeka Police Department has offered to provide details to Complete Streets or another appropriate city group.
The organization noted that it is important to understand the potentially dangerous road designs or behaviors that the community can work on together. It said making intentional steps to share these crash details between law enforcement and Complete Streets or City Engineering can help bring the city closer to a safe community for all.
According to Bike Topeka, Musser was a cherished member of both the TRM and MAP communities. It said volunteers and staff at both organizations have been devastated by her passing.
The Bike Topeka community has also offered its sincere condolences to her family and friends.
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