‘Silent Ride’ Sunday to honor O’Hara man who died while riding to work in Harmar | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

‘Silent Ride’ Sunday to honor O’Hara man who died while riding to work in Harmar

Chuck Biedka
Courtesy of Marti Haykin
Thomas Haykin had been riding his bike to work for 13 years, said his sister, Marti.
Courtesy of Jim Logan

About 100 bicyclists will ride on a busy Harmar road Sunday morning to honor an O’Hara man who died a month ago while riding his bicycle to work.

Thomas Haykin, 57, died Aug. 31 after he was struck by two vans on Freeport Road near Route 910, investigators said.

Haykin was Curtiss-Wright’s principal engineer in charge of fluid dynamics analyses of rotating equipment used in the Navy ’s nuclear vessels and other Curtiss-Wright products. He earlier worked on the NASA main engine turbo pumps, according to an obituary.

Jim Logan of Shaler is a volunteer for the Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen, which is co-hosting the Ride of Silence on Sunday.

Both 2-mile and 10-mile rides will start and end in the parking lot of the Zone 28 entertainment center along Freeport Road near Route 910 where a decorated white “ghost bicycle” will be placed to remember Haykin, Logan said.

Harmar police Chief Jason Domaratz said officers will assist the riders leaving the parking lot after the memorial starts.

“Though my heart is aching,” said Haykin’s sister, Marti, in a written statement, “I want to see and photograph Tom’s ghost bike. I want everyone to know what happened to this brilliant man, who was trying to be physically fit AND trying to reduce his carbon footprint. He rode his bike to work along that road for 13 years. He was a careful and experienced rider.”

Logan said drivers clearly need to pay more attention to riders.

“We’ve noticed a disturbing pattern,” Logan said. “In the last five years, eight of the nine deaths of people on bicycles occurred on state-owned (PennDOT) roads, and seven of the nine were commuting.” Most, like Haykin’s death, didn’t happen at intersections.

The deaths include a woman bicyclist who died in November 2015 in a wreck with a tractor-trailer along Route 780 near Penn State New Kensington in Upper Burrell.

The other deaths happened across the region including in Aliquippa, Robinson, the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Wilkinsburg and Cranberry.

When people read about bicycle rider deaths and comment on social media, “We ask that you tag them with #anotherstateroad,” Logan said.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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