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In South Jordan, cyclists ride in honor of two men killed in accident

First Published Mar 14 2014 03:03PM      Last Updated Mar 14 2014 10:43 pm

(Bryan Byrge, 39, of Riverton was killed Wednesday morning in Lehi when they were hit by a pickup truck while riding their bicycles to work. Courtesy photo)

South Jordan •More than 150 people — family, friends and other supporters — took a bicycle ride together on Friday in remembrance of two men who died this week while biking in Lehi.

Bryan Byrge, 39, and John Coons, 35, "filled up a lot of space in people’s lives," said David Clyde, Byrge’s next-door neighbor. "They both had a [power] to bring everybody into their lives and make everyone feel welcome and loved."

Byrge, of Riverton, and Coons, of Herriman, had a weekly tradition of cycling together to their jobs in Utah County — Byrge at Fishbowl Inventory in Provo and Coons at Hotdocs in Lindon, according to company websites.



They were riding south on Redwood Road when they began to turn east onto 2100 North in Lehi, police have said. A northbound pickup struck both men, police have said.

Upon learning that two men had died in a crash at that intersection, friend Sean Jager said, "I knew it must have been them."

"I called Bryan immediately, and when he didn’t answer I knew something was wrong," Jager said.

Byrge and Coons both were married; Coons was father to three young children and Byrge had four. Their homes were just blocks apart and the two men enjoyed cycling, basketball and other outdoor sports, friends said.

Coons was "a fierce competitor ... and the nicest guy," Jager said. "He was such a supporter of his family, his friends, his community."

Byrge "had a magnetic personality," Jager said. "He had a knack to make you feel like his best friend. He was the perfect example of a father, the perfect example of a husband, the perfect example of a son."

Both men loved high-adrenaline outdoor sports. Friends, family and strangers from the cycling community gathered for the bike ride not only to show support for Byrge’s and Coons’ families but also "to try to carry on their legacy of big living and enjoying life," said friend Chad Greenleaf.

Meanwhile, police had no further information Friday as to how or why the crash occurred. Lehi police Lt. Darren Paul has said that witnesses reported both Byrge and Coons had head and tail lights on their bicycles. Investigators were still determining who had the right of way in the intersection.

The 41-year-old driver of the Ford F-150 was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries, which included cuts suffered when his windshield shattered. No citations were immediately issued and there was no indication that the pickup’s driver was impaired or distracted at the time of the crash.

ealberty@sltrib.com

 

 

 

 

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