Dave Schlabowske
Bike Czar

The Tragic Death of Tom Van Hoof

A well-known and much-loved member of the bicycling community was killed in a crash with a motorist on Mill Road.

By , Bike Federation of Wisconsin - Jul 26th, 2013 10:57 am
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I am deeply saddened to report that over the past weekend, Tom Van Hoof died of injuries he sustained in a crash at night at the intersection of Mill Road and the recently paved connection between the Ozaukee Interurban Trail and the Oak Leaf Trail.

This is the smiling face that I will remember when I think of Tom Van Hoof.

This is the smiling face that I will remember when I think of Tom Van Hoof.

I was out of town at a wedding in Ohio when I began getting voice mails, text messages and Facebook updates that the much loved member of the Milwaukee area cycling and skiing community was in the hospital in critical condition.

The crash happened at about 10 p.m. on a Thursday night at  the intersection of  the  newly paved portion of the Oak Leaf Trail and Mill Rd. Van Hoof was riding with a group of friends as part of a regular Thursday night Silver Creek Ride. Van Hoof was traveling southbound on the newly paved trail when he was hit at the intersection with Mill Road by a motor vehicle heading eastbound on Mill Road, according to a Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s report. The report also notes Van Hoof had lights and was wearing a helmet.

I spoke with Milwaukee County Parks Department, and they told me that trail, although paved, is NOT open yet. There are still barricades up at the intersections, and they have not put stop signs up on the trail yet, nor are the advance trail warning signs up on Mill Road. The trail project is still under contractor control, and people are asked not to use it until the work is done.

I didn’t know Van Hoof well, but I have met him a few times. He was a smiling face that stood out from the crowd at our annual Santa Cycle Rampage rides. A father and husband, please keep Van Hoof’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. Remember, despite this tragic death, riding a bicycle is a very safe and healthy way to get around and get exercise, but please also remember that most crashes happen at intersections and cross busy roads with great care.

Tom Held knew Van Hoof better than I did, and he wrote an excellent story on his blog The Active Pursuit that typifies the generous and friendly spirit for which Van Hoof was so well known. Read more in the story linked here.

This story was originally published by the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

Categories: Bike Czar

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