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‘Ghost bike’ memorial to highlight bike safety

PROVO — A family is trying to spread the word about bicycle safety after suffering a tragedy, in hopes of preventing another.

Douglas Crow, 69, was killed while riding his bike in Provo in 2013.

His family used a crowdfunding effort to build a monument in Crow's memory, along with a custom-made "ghost bike." The bike serves as a symbol to drivers to keep an eye out for bicyclists.

“He loved biking more than anything,” son Michael Crow said. “He was biking everywhere. He was always on his bike.”

Doug Crow’s sons smile when they think about their dad on a bike.

“He had a collection of different bikes, and he would take them out and he would test them and repair them, and he would build them. He just liked to ride bikes around,” said another son, Mel Crow.

It was a hobby Doug Crow enjoyed with his family.

“He was biking throughout the entire course of his life, even in his 60s, and we had a hard time keeping up with him because he was in such great shape,” son Jeremy Crow said.

Doug Crow was killed while riding his bike Feb. 15, 2013, near 700 West and 600 South in Provo. He stopped when the railroad warning lights came on.

Maria Fregoso-Avina, 49, hit him with her SUV, pushing him into the path of an oncoming FrontRunner train. She pleaded guilty to negligent homicide two months after the accident and was ordered to spend 210 days in jail, and then returned to Mexico.

Crow often rode his bike to work, though he had taken that day off. He was set to retire that year after 30 years as a custodian at BYU, his family said.

The family set up a makeshift ghost bike memorial, trying to raise awareness about bicycle safety. When it was removed by the railroad company, the family set up a gofundme account under "The Douglas Crow Memorial Fund" to erect a permanent memorial. Their goal was $3,000.

“We made our goal in less than two weeks, and people were flowing in money,” son Allen Crow said. “We had donations from local people, from family (and) from far away.”

They say the donations beyond their goal will go directly to the Provo Bike Collective to promote safety and cycling as a form of transportation.

Doug Crow’s family finds comfort in the monument, but more importantly hope the ghost bike keeps another accident from happening.

“This area of the tracks is really dangerous,” Mel Crow said. “I hope the people see it, and it will remind them to be a little more safe."

A special ride of silence in Doug Crow’s memory was held Wednesday night. Bicyclists began the ride at Dixon Middle School and went to the ghost bike and memorial, then back to the school to raise awareness about bicyclist safety.

Email: spenrod@deseretnews.com