Magnus White was preparing to compete in the Junior Men’s Mountain Bike Cross-Country World Championships in Scotland on Aug. 10, and was set to start his senior year of high school in a few weeks. The crash has renewed calls from bike safety advocates across the state.
"This is terrible. We feel horrible for his family," said Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy, a bike safety advocate with Bicycle Colorado, on Monday. "It makes us always wonder what can be done to prevent crashes like this from ever happening again."
According to Colorado State Patrol (CSP), the crash happened about 12:33 p.m. on southbound Highway 119 past North 63rd Street. A Toyota Matrix, driven by a 23-year-old woman, was driving southbound when the vehicle went onto the shoulder, hitting the back of White's bike.
White was injured and taken the hospital where he later died, according to Trooper Gabriel Moltrer with CSP.
White's parents, Jill and Michael, released a statement Monday afternoon that said, "Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the tragic loss of our beloved son, Magnus White. We’ve received an overwhelming outpouring of support from friends, colleagues and the cycling community, for which we are incredibly grateful. We are now realizing the incredible reach he had across the world. Magnus was dedicated to his family and friends and loved to surround them with laughter.
"He had an amazing smile that always lit up the room, bringing joy to those around him," his parents' statement continued. "Magnus's passion for cycling started at age 2 with his first strider bike and started racing at the young age of 8. He was an incredibly self-motivated cyclist who was just reaching his potential. Our pride for Magnus goes beyond his accomplishments as a cyclist and student. He held his character and determination to the highest of standards, which he carried through everything he did in life. He touched the lives of so many people and in time we will find a way to honor his legacy."
Leaders of the Boulder-based advocacy group It Could Be Me were devastated to hear the news.
"I've never met him, but we do have friends that do know him," said founder Triny Willerton. "It's absolutely heartbreaking in every single way possible."
Willerton founded the nonprofit organization after she said she was hit while cycling in Boulder in 2018. She said that although a lot has been done to improve road safety, more needs to be done.
"This is just an indicator that we need to move faster because we have solutions," Willerton said. "There are counties that have zero traffic deaths, and we should be one of them. We have everything to be one of them."
The investigation into the crash is ongoing. Drugs, alcohol and excessive speed are not factors in the crash, Moltrer said.
White is survived by his parents, his brother Eero "and countless friends worldwide," the USA Cycling's website says.
"White fell in love with cycling at an early age through Boulder Junior Cycling. He was a rising star in the off-road cycling scene and his passion for cycling was evident through his racing and camaraderie with his teammates and local community," USA Cycling said.
"We offer our heartfelt condolences to the White family, his teammates, friends, and the Boulder community during this incredibly difficult time," the organization said.
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