Schoolteacher Killed by Distracted Driver While Biking Cross-Country for Charity: Officials
Another cyclist was also injured but is in stable condition, officials tell PEOPLE
http://KWTV.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=199442;hostDomain=www.news9.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=11727773;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlayA New York teacher has died after he and another cyclist were struck by an allegedly distracted driver Thursday in Oklahoma as they rode cross-country for charity, law enforcement tells PEOPLE.
Patrick Wanninkhof and Bridget Anderson were hit by Sarah Morris at about 8:05 a.m. Thursday, state highway patrol officials say, reportedly outside Canute.
Morris, 34, said she had looked at her phone and did not see the cyclists before impact, a spokesperson for the highway patrol told PEOPLE. Preliminary investigation indicates that Wanninkhof and Anderson were about a foot into the road.
Wanninkhof, 25, died shortly after being struck, firefighters on the scene said, according to highway patrol.
Anderson, 22, was taken to OU Medical Center, where she is in stable condition with leg injuries, according to highway patrol.
The crash remains under investigation, according to highway patrol. It was not immediately clear whether Morris would face charges.
The pair – Wanninkhof a physics and computer science teacher at Fordham High School for the Arts in the Bronx, New York; and Anderson a recent University of Florida graduate – were biking from Maine to Santa Barbara, California, for Bike & Build, a nonprofit raising funds for affordable housing, according to their B&B profiles and the New York Daily News.
Wanninkhof wrote on B&B of his journey: “[My] mindset was soon challenged when a student told me that she and her mom had been moving between relatives houses every week after they couldn’t pay rent.
“How on earth could I expect her to give her all to Newton’s Laws when she wasn’t sure where she’d be sleeping that evening?”
At the time of the crash, Wanninkhof and Anderson had completed 2,390 miles and 45 days of the planned 3,987-mile, 75-day trek, according to B&B.
Wanninkhof “was my inspiration my entire life, sister Suzette told the New York Daily News. “He was just the most amazing person.”
A former student of Wanninkhof’s described him this way to DNAinfo: “He was quite a character – very goofy, very quirky. He’s not just my teacher. We became friends.”
Anderson wrote on her own B&B page, in part, “I cannot think of a better way to spend my first summer as a college graduate than pedaling for affordable housing.”
On July 5, it looks like she changed her Facebook profile picture to one of her by a bike, arms wide for the camera, smiling.
A Facebook friend commented: “Love it! Enjoy the ride of your life!”