Cyclist killed on group ride remembered as 'super positive, really smart guy'
'The whole cycling community is mourning right now,' says friend of Brad Dean, who died Sunday
"Positive" and "committed" were words Kelly Jablonski used repeatedly to describe his friend Brad Dean.
"I just think with Brad, he was so committed to everything he did," said Jablonski. "Whether it was cycling or family or his music — he was just super committed, super enthusiastic.
"Always involved and helping people out."
Dean, 33, was killed Sunday morning while on a group bike ride in Richmond, B.C. Two other members of the six-person group were also seriously injured.
Jablonski, 42, is the director of the local cycling group Just Giver 4PD.
He said he met Brad Dean about five years ago, when Dean approached him to ask about joining his cycling club.
"I took him under my wing and spent the last five years riding with him, and then he got into racing so we did a lot of racing and traveling together."
Jablonski said their shared passion for cycling developed into a close friendship.
"We travelled all over, went down to California on a couple road-trips," Jablonski said. "It almost doesn't seem real that somebody like that gets taken away so early."
'It's the talk of everybody right now'
As for the local cycling community, Jablonski said it's a very tight-knit group.
"It's the talk of everybody right now, of how did this happen and just how sad the entire cycling community is — within hours, literally 500 to 1,000 cyclists who know exactly what happened and who it happened to.
"It just becomes real for everybody."
Jablonski lives in Richmond and said he's ridden that stretch of road countless times.
He heard about what happened within 10 minutes of the crash, through people in the group who were there.
"I know in this case, the guys rode really safely," Jablonski said. "They weren't racing, they were just on a normal group Sunday ride that we all go on all the time."
"I think this was just an unfortunate, tragic accident. You know, cars and bikes being in the wrong place at the wrong time — just a totally tragic accident."
Crash happened Sunday morning
RCMP say the six cyclists were riding on River Road near Westminster Highway around 10 a.m. PT when a car collided with them.
The crash killed Dean and left two other cyclists seriously injured, one critically. The three other cyclists suffered minor injuries.
Jablonski said Dean grew up in White Rock but had been living in Vancouver with his 31-year-old wife, who is a schoolteacher.
"I know that she still can't believe that he's gone and she's very, very upset and crushed.
"But she's a really strong woman and she has lots of good family and friends to support her, and we're going to make sure we all get through this together."