Cyclists ride through Durham in community tribute to man killed in hit and run

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Monday, July 25, 2022
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Cyclist in Durham ride through the city in a community tribute to cyclist killed in hit and run.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Bikers rode silently through Durham Sunday, in a community tribute to Matt Simpson who was killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bike.

"This hits hard, when tragedy like this strikes. So, we want to remember Matt. We want to honor his memory. And we want to be together, in both the grief and feeling like if we can come together, to make sure that this doesn't happen anymore," John Tallmadge said.

Simpson's widow cried as she described him as a devoted dad and husband. A brilliant, creative, funny man who built a beautiful life with her.

"He will be so missed! And I hope that we can work hard together to honor his life, the beautiful life that he lived. And also, to keep our community safe, so that we can all enjoy it, Allison Simpson said.

Organizers of the tribute ride provided cards with messages from mourners that were placed in the spokes of a ghost bike representing Simpson's love of cycling.

Some wore black armbands as they pedaled along a three-mile loop, including down Guess Road where Simpson was hit

While some participates did not know him personally, they share the belief of his friends and family.

"That this is unacceptable and don't want to ever see this happen again. We're not alone in thinking that there need to be changes to make sure our streets are safe and it's a big group that wants change. Most of them are not here, this is just a sampling of people who could make it on a Sunday," Tallmadge said.

The group plans to stay united as they advocate for safer streets that everyone in the city can enjoy.