Friday, August 10, 2007

mark snopek

Authorities seek clues in bicyclist's death
By NIGEL DUARA, REGISTER STAFF WRITER
August 10, 2007
[i've stolen this from the register--i hope they don't sue me!]
. . .
It was typical for Mark Snopek to ride his bicycle
for an hour or so each evening after sunset.
The rides usually were along rural, paved routes near Boone,
friends and family members said.
"He always dressed in bright, visible colors,"
said Jolene Hansen, Snopek's neighbor.
"When he didn't come home, (his wife) went out to look for him."
Law enforcement officials are searching for a dark car with extensive front-end damage that witnesses said hit Snopek on Wednesday night and sent him several hundred feet from the impact, said Boone County Sheriff Ron Fehr. The hit-and-run accident occurred about 9 p.m. Snopek, whose helmet was shattered, died at the scene.
[note: this is the second hit-and-run bicyclist death
on this stretch of shoulderless county road in 12 months--the rev]
Investigators want the public's help in identifying the driver, Fehr said. He said officials are hoping that lab results from Snopek's clothing and shattered glass at the scene yield some clues about the type of vehicle that was involved in the accident.
"It was all sent down and we're hoping we can get some paint transfer off clothing or the body," Fehr said.
Snopek's hit-and-run death raises issues for motorists and bicyclists throughout the state, said Iowa Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Mark Wyatt. "It's a problem in Iowa because most car-bicycle accidents are preventable," Wyatt said. He said the Legislature needs to take steps to prevent the accidents and heighten the penalties for those who cause them. Aside from more easily enforceable crimes like drunken driving, Wyatt said his organization is pushing for an intermediate charge for people who strike bicyclists while distracted - talking on cell phones, applying makeup, eating or sending text messages, for example - that aren't "reckless and wanton" as the law applies, but remain dangerous.
Snopek was an environmental specialist with the Iowa Department of Transportation's Office of Location and Environment in Ames.
He was described by friends and family as an avid environmentalist
who would spend vacations with his wife in rural, out-of-the-way places.
"He was a son that was really dedicated to what he believed in," said Leland Snopek, Mark's father. Hansen remembered Snopek's frustration when a nearby family wanted to build a track for all-terrain vehicles in a river valley near his home.
"He was upset because he loved nature and wanted everything to be preserved the way it should be," Hansen said.
"He was very adamant about that."
Reporter Nigel Duara can be reached at (515) 284-8065 or nduara@dmreg.com.

2 comments:

the inebriationist said...

He worked just down the hall from me...

Didn't know.

Mistress Julie said...

that sucks. i'm tired of stories like this.