Memorial bike ride set for cyclist killed in Route 30 crash |

Memorial bike ride set for cyclist killed in Route 30 crash

Joe Napsha
Jason Zollinger

An avid bicyclist who was killed Oct. 1 when he was hit by a car on Route 30 while bicycling up Laurel Mountain will be remembered on Sunday, Oct. 20 with a memorial bike ride.

The three-mile bike ride in memory of Jason Zollinger, 38, of Hempfield, will begin at 1 p.m. at the Laurel Mountain Ski Resort lodge in Ligonier Township.

It will follow Laurel Summit Road to Route 30, where it will continue westward to the truck pull-off area, across from the fatal accident, said Neil Amina, 37, of New Derry, a friend of Zollinger’s.

Amina said he was not certain how many riders will participate. Zollinger was a member of a few bicycle clubs, he said.

The riders will congregate across from where the accident occurred and place a “ghost bike” in memory of Zollinger at the accident site, Amina said.

Ghost bikes typically are painted white with a placard stating that a bicyclist was hit by a vehicle. The practice began in 2003 in St. Louis, and Pittsburgh was the second city to place ghost bikes at accident sites, according to the website, At least five have been placed in Pittsburgh, according to the website.

Zollinger, who was a project manager for Bank of New York Mellon, was an endurance athlete and marathon runner, Amina said.

It was not unusual for Zollinger to ride his bicycle from the Ligonier area to the top of the mountain, which has an elevation of about 2,670 feet.

“He did that hill about once a week,” Amina said.

Ligonier Valley Police and the Westmoreland County Detective Bureau investigated the accident, but have not yet issued a public report on the findings of their probe.

Neither police nor the Westmoreland County Coroner have revealed the name of the driver involved in the fatal crash, who was driving eastbound. Zollinger was wearing a helmet and riding in the same direction when he was hit at 9 a.m., the coroner said.

The coroner’s office said the cause and manner of death is pending autopsy and toxicology results, that will take a few weeks.

Zollinger’s friends are considering organizing a charity bicycle ride that will be used to raise money for a scholarship to Saint Vincent College, said Amina, a classmate of Zollinger’s at Saint Vincent’s .

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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