CINCINNATI — A 27-year-old former North Ridgeville man was killed from injuries he suffered early Tuesday when he was struck by a motorist while bicycling to work in Cincinnati.
Andrew Gast died of his injuries at University Hospital, where he was taken from the scene of the accident near Lunken Airport, which sits just north of the Ohio River on the city’s east side.
An investment management and trust asset manager for Fifth Third Bank, Gast was a 2003 North Ridgeville High School graduate, and the son of Richard and Sandy Gast of North Ridgeville.
Richard Gast recently retired from Elyria High School where he taught math and served as the school’s math department chairman for many years.
Sandy Gast is a former employee of the North Ridgeville Parks and Recreation Department.
A candlelight vigil is being planned for 7 p.m. today at North Ridgeville High School, according to Robin Dove, who graduated with Gast.
“I knew him … almost everyone did,” Dove said in an email. “He was a really nice guy.”
Richard Gast said his son recently paid $2,800 for the bike he was riding at the time of the fatal accident.
“Andy was doing everything he was supposed to,” Richard Gast said. “He had all the gear you need. He wasn’t doing anything negligent. The guy just didn’t see him. I don’t know why.”
“Andy never had a chance,” his father said. “The guy just plowed into him.”
Gast, who was wearing a helmet, was reportedly dragged about 150 feet following the crash, his father said.
Cincinnati police are continuing their investigation into the crash, which occurred at 6:10 a.m. Tuesday on a busy thoroughfare, according to John Chester, president of the Cincinnati Cycle Club, whose members got together to ride in Andrew Gast’s memory Tuesday night.
“Andy wasn’t a member of the club, but since he was a cyclist, it was very important that we honor him,” Chester said. “We rode from the crash site back to where he lived downtown. We finished his ride because he didn’t get to.”
The bike trail ridden by Gast and many others was in poor condition in the area of the accident, Chester said, which may have contributed to Gast riding in the roadway.
“Most of us ride out there, and we do not ride the trail,” Chester said. “It has a lot of potholes and gravel and drop-offs from driveways. It’s a hazard at anything above 5 to 10 miles an hour.”
According to a preliminary Cincinnati police report, Gast was northbound on Wilmer Avenue when he was struck from behind by a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Melvin White, 49, of nearby Bethel.
Further details were not available from police, who said no charges had been filed.
Gast received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Dayton in 2007.
He had lived in the Cincinnati area for four years and moved to a loft-style downtown townhouse three to four months ago, according to his father.
“He enjoyed downtown life and walked to work,” Richard Gast said. “He’d go out and ride 30 to 40 miles. He was doing a lot of biking.”
A female friend of Gast placed flowers at the accident site as did Chester and members of the bike club.
“He had just helped her buy her first bike, and he was helping her learn to ride,” Chester said. “He was a very good cyclist,” Chester said.
“He was doing very well,” Richard Gast said. “He was at the high point of life for a 27-year-old, and it was snuffed out. It’s just awful.”
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bogner Family Funeral Home in North Ridgeville. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home, followed by burial in Resthaven Memory Garden in Avon.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.