Archive for Monday, November 2, 2009

Gathering, ride honor fallen bicyclist

Friends and family of Rachel Leek gathered Sunday to honor her memory.

November 2, 2009


Friends and family gathered together on Sunday to honor the memory of Rachel Leek, a 20-year-old woman who was killed when her bike was hit by a car on Oct 16.

The group of about 50 people met near Ninth and New Hampshire streets with bikes, colored flags and instruments. They gathered to pay respects to Leek and to celebrate life after mourning their loss. The group shared memories and their feelings about Leek. An altar with leeks, incense and other mementos was constructed on a bicycle.

The group then rode west on Ninth Street, turned north on Massachusetts Street, then east on Seventh Street and back south on New Hampshire.

Leek was riding her bike in the east lane of the 1000 block of Tennessee around 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 16 when she was hit by a car. No one has been arrested, but Lawrence police have identified Lawrence resident Joel Cedric Hernandez, 21, as the driver of the Pontiac Grand Am that struck Leek.


Amy Heeter 6 years ago

There should be. This is not the time for a plea agreement or diversion.

middlemgmt 6 years ago

Hell's why would you be surprised? I ask because I have been surprised that Mr. Hernandez has not been arrested to date. If this were my daughter, I would be outraged that he is walking the streets.

flux 6 years ago

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flux 6 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

The community should be outraged. It should not be up to Rachel Leek's family and friends to call for justice alone. There is a huge difference between the weight of a car and the weight of a bike, Even a motorcycle stands very little chance against a car.

jumpingjuniper 6 years ago

I can't believe they have not arrested and charged this killer yet! Does this mean anyone can go mow down a bicyclist or other pedestrians in this town, and get off scott free?! And the way the indian community in Lawrence is sticking up for this kid and trashing Ms. Leek's reputation is sickening!

maxcrabb 6 years ago

Regardless of alcohol, when you hit someone, or something, you take responsibility for your actions.

If you drive away from the scene of an accident, you are saying "I am a coward, and have so sense of personal responsibility."

Send this guy to jail.

hail2oldku 6 years ago

flux - I agree with your assessment of the two posters, at least as it relates to this subject.

jj - I had not seen too much regarding the native american community trashing Rachel. If that's the case, they should be ashamed of themselves. I understand (slightly) defending one of your own to a certain extent, but by all accounts this is indefensible and to trash the victim to boot is just sickening.

jumpingjuniper 6 years ago

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Hilary Morton 6 years ago

To be honest, bicyclists can be hit and killed in this town and nobody seems to get in trouble for it. Remember when the police officer was mowed over riding in the country that morning by a student who was texting while driving, and didn't see him? Yeah, didn't that student get charged with inattentive driving? Ridiculous.

gsxr600 6 years ago

Why should the community be outraged? Both parties made poor decisions.

gsxr600 6 years ago

If the community should be outraged about anything, it should be:

-not drinking and driving (oh wait, that's already an issue) -how to operate a bicycle safely

If the bicyclist was actually following the law, I would have more sympathy.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

There has been zero confirmation that the bike rider was intoxicated. That is just a rumor bone thrown out by another poster. If you want to remember something, think about the former policeman who was drunk driving that ran his vehicle up onto the sidewalk near the round corner drug store. He hit a cyclist and got 2 days in jail. I believe his father is still a court services officer. The victim has life long disableing injuries.

Kash_Encarri 6 years ago

"gsxr600 (Anonymous) says… If the bicyclist was actually following the law, I would have more sympathy."

Nobody has proven she wasn't following the law.

Kash_Encarri 6 years ago

I, perhaps wrongly, assumed he was saying she was intoxicated as well.

If it is reflectors that gsx referred to, then he or she must feel it is open season on jaywalkers in town as well.

Amy Heeter 6 years ago

Oh please we know the driver was drunk. I bet he wouldn't have seen her if she had a strobe light on her head.

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