A ghost bike reminds us that all road users are responsible for all other users – whether in cars, on foot, in wheel chairs, on public transit, and on bicycles. As long as a ghost bike remains in place, it serves as a graphic reminder that someone was killed in a crash – regardless of fault or responsibility.
A second and more touching reason is that the ghost bike provides the surviving loved ones a focus for their loss, and, by their commemoration, serves as beacon for the rest of us.
On 9/3/12, Matthew was riding north on Rt. 22 toward Hoosick falls at 8:30 AM on a clear day on a straight, smooth road with wide shoulders. He was an avid, experienced cyclist.
Becky Goodermote struck him from behind and left Matthew lying by the road 30 feet from where she hit him. Goodermote, 37, was charged with leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs, driving with a suspended registration and failure to use due care.
Matthew died on 12/20/12 having been in a coma since struck. His third child was born during that time. He left Jennifer, his wife, and children, Kylie, Connor, and the baby. He worked at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in radiology.
A local business owner went to the scene. “It was pretty bad. I saw one of his shoes and thought it was a young kid at first. It was a big mess,” he said.
A Rensselaer County judge sentenced Goodermote to 2⅓ to 7 years for her plea to leaving the scene of an accident that caused a death and 1⅓ to 4 years for criminally negligent homicide, both felonies. Everybody loses …
His ghost bike was installed 1/13/13 near the point of impact a few days after Matthew died. Jennifer, Matthew’s widow, visits frequently leaving flowers and cards. Below is the ghost bike shortly after St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.
Annually, there is a “Ride of Silence” in Albany to commemorate those who were killed or injured while riding and to remind us all – drivers and cyclists – to be careful. We pass by and stop at the ghost bikes sites in the city – Paul Merges, Nicholas Richichi, Diva DeLoayza, and Jose Perez. This year there are two new sites – two new fatalities. A daughter of a deceased rider, the wife of yet another, and another’s co-workers sometimes join the ride. This year’s ride is on Wednesday, 5/16/18 starting at 6:00 PM at the Row Center in Albany Riverfront Park and at 6:30 at Capital Park Washington Ave.