AVON LAKE — Avon Lake police identified Richard “Randy” Knilans as the bicyclist who died from his injuries after a vehicle hit-skip last Thursday.
Knilans, 66, was a prominent and active figure in Avon Lake, working as a member and chairman of the Planning Commission, as well as a member in the Zoning Board and the Historic Preservation Committee. Avon Lake City Council honored Knilans on Monday evening with a moment of silence.
“We are full of sadness here in the city,” Avon Lake Mayor Greg Zilka said. “We don’t always get someone of such high quality … (Knilans’) longevity and his expertise and his kindness is an example of the kind of people who reside in our community and we are forever grateful.”
Shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday, police were called about a possible impaired driver traveling west on Lake Road. Police said the vehicle had struck Knilans while he was riding his bicycle on Lake Road near Miller Road. Knilans was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he died of his injuries.
Sheffield Lake police pulled over the driver at Lake Road and Maplewood Avenue. Police charged the driver, Sharan Carr, 64, of Sheffield Lake, with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to maintain control and operating a vehicle under the influence. Carr appeared in Avon Lake Municipal Court on Friday and her bond was set at $100,000. She has a preliminary hearing 10 a.m. Thursday.
Sue Wells, president of the Silver Wheels Cycling Club based in Elyria, issued a written statement Monday about the incident resulting in Knilans’ death.
“As cyclists, we are asking that the operators of vehicles and bicycles share the road, pay attention to what they are doing, use common courtesy, and follow the rules,” she said. “We would like to see vehicles and bicycles kindly share the road and remember the 3-foot gap required when a vehicle is passing a bicycle. Our hope is that we will never again hear of a vehicle hitting a cyclist.”
The incident happened about three weeks after another cyclist was seriously injured after a hit-skip at Lake and Moore roads in Avon Lake. In that incident, the accused driver, Allison Spoerl, 21, of Avon Lake, struck Patty Banks, 51, of Bay Village, on May 15.