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DOVER — A 51-year-old cyclist lost his life while participating in the 36th Annual Amish Country Bike Tour Saturday.
Bike Delaware identified the cyclist as Larry Yarbray, a member of the Major Taylor 1899 Chester Cycling Club, based in Pennsylvania.
“On social media, people who knew him called him a generous ‘giant’ and ‘wise soul’ who impacted and transformed lives through his coaching,” Bike Delaware said in its post.
The organization’s post said Mr. Yarbray was dean of students at Chester Community Charter School, men’s basketball coach at Delaware County Community College and a former coach at Chester High School.
While traveling with a large pack of cyclists at approximately 8:23 a.m., the man failed to observe the rider in front of him slowing down, according to Delaware State Police Senior Cpl. Jason Hatchell.
This caused the rider’s front wheel to collide with the rear wheel of the cyclist in front of him, which made the bicyclist lose control and swerve abruptly into the southbound lane of Apple Grove School Road in the Camden-Wyoming area.
At the same time, a 2012 gray GMC Sierra traveling southbound approached the pack, but could not avoid the collision, state police said.
The state police news release said the Sierra's front left struck the front right of the bicyclist near the center of the southbound travel lane.
Cpl. Hatchell said the cyclist was forced under the Sierra, sustaining severe injuries in the process. He was transported to Bayhealth Kent Campus and was later pronounced dead.
The 23-year-old driver of the Sierra was not injured, polic said.
As a result of the accident, Apple Grove School Road was closed for approximately three and a half hours for the police investigation.
“The volunteers and members of our local cycling clubs hosting today's Amish Country Bike Tour fundraising event were heartbroken and stunned to learn of the tragedy and loss of one of today's cyclists this morning,” Amish Country Bike Tour organizers posted on Facebook Saturday night. “We mourn with the family, friends and other members of the cycling community who are affected.”
The annual tour, which began at 6 a.m. with registration, saw a record-setting turnout as over 3,000 riders participated in the event. The tour offered a variety of routes; each with a staggered start time to account for the high number of participants and to ensure rest stops did not get overwhelmed.
Riders participating in the 100-mile route started between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., while riders participating in the 50- and 62-mile courses followed from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., riders participating in the shorter 16- and 25-mile courses rounded out the start of the tour.