Frank Radaker died after being hit by an SUV while cycling to work on Thursday.
INDIANAPOLIS — Bicycle Garage Indy employees are mourning the loss of a friend and co-worker. An SUV struck and killed Frank Radaker on Thursday morning as he was cycling to work.
“He loved learning, but he also loved sharing,” said Scott Helvie. “We will be getting daily reminders of Frank’s impact.”
It might look like another day at Bicycle Garage Indy.
“People are going to call and come in and say, ‘Hey, I had a fit with Frank. I wanted to ask something,'” Helvie said.
Helvie will have to tell customers the tragic news.
“One of the staff came up to me yesterday and said, ‘Hey, a cyclist got hit this morning,'” Helvie said.
Helvie never suspected it was Radaker, her mechanic and bike fitter.
“A couple of guys had been asking, ‘Hey, has anyone seen Frank this morning? ‘” Helvie said.
He set it up when Radaker, who was always on time, didn’t show up for work.
“I said, ‘That’s Frank’s bike,'” Helvie said. “So all the emotions hit.”
Helvie and a colleague ran to 86th Street Thursday morning. The hospital called to confirm to the cyclist that a crashed and killed SUV was their friend.
“He was a big advocate for doing things the right way, the safe way,” Helvie said.
RELATED: Cyclist struck, killed by vehicle near Monon Trail
The IMPD searched the SUV that hit Radaker on Friday morning, but the speed at the time of the crash was not available in its black box. Detectives are trying to find witnesses and video to find out how fast the driver was driving.
“The amount of experience and confidence, and I think that’s part of what makes it even more difficult, is that I don’t think we’ve seen a report that says who’s at fault here. I know which side I’m on. I’m pretty confident he wasn’t wrong. He had no reason to take a risk,” Helvie said.
Approximately one million people use the Monon Trail each year. Radaker’s death draws attention to safety issues at busy intersections and explains why the city isn’t building more pedestrian bridges like the one installed last year next to the sprawling state fairgrounds. on 38th Street.
“It’s inevitable to have these intersections between foot traffic and car traffic, and we need to look at which ones are the heaviest and make decisions on how to improve them,” Helvie said. “Something has to happen here or more accidents will happen. There’s no way to avoid it.”