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Family grieving loss of son, killed while riding his bike

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Updated: 6/17/2013 6:26 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's Father's Day news no dad ever wants to receive.

"As a parent, you always want to go first," said John Dougherty.

Dougherty tells Action News his son, also named John, was headed home from work on his bicycle. It's a route he traveled often. When he didn't show up, his family went looking for him. What they came upon was a crime scene.  

"We saw the taped off area and um ... we saw a bike," said his sister Suzanne Winkler. 

His other sister, Kathleen Klingaman added, "I turned to Suzanne and I said, 'Are you sure it was John?' And she said, 'I'm pretty sure why?' and I said, 'Because there's a sheet over there' and I knew." 

He was riding on the sidewalk and was almost home when police say a speeding SUV driven by Lee Bond, 29, somehow went off the road. The vehicle struck Dougherty and smashed into a wall. Dougherty was killed instantly. The driver of the SUV was injured. 

"He always just said you know when it's my time, it's my time. Don't cry. And celebrate me. And have a party. And that's what we'll do," said Winkler. 

Funny, kind, could make anyone laugh. The family said those are the reasons this brother was so loved. And that is the memory that will never fade. No matter how much time goes by.  

"He was my best friend. He was just a guy. He was just our best friend; I can't tell you how many people he touched and knew," John Dougherty said. 

There is a growing memorial at the scene Monday night.  Bond is still at UF Health in critical condition. Police said traffic homicide is still investigating to figure out if Bond will face charges.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Sherri - 6/18/2013 12:23 AM
0 Votes
Who really cares right now whether it is legal to ride your bike on a sidewalk...an idiot driver who was speeding struck and killed a man....and the police are wondering about bringing charges...Prayers are sent for the grieving family.

Rsnow101 - 6/17/2013 8:16 PM
2 Votes
Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316.2065, F.S.) When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.

Karaboutyou - 6/17/2013 6:16 PM
3 Votes
Chantel66 - after reading such a terribly heart wrenching story - you ask if its legal to ride a bike on a sidewalk? That's what you got out of this? I do not know you - but your heart seems to be in the wrong place.

chantel66 - 6/17/2013 5:29 PM
1 Vote
Since when is it legal to ride bikes on the sidewalk?
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