Memorial and recovery ride held for two cyclists hit by alleged drunk driver
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Hundreds of bikes pedaled out of Crump Park in Henrico for a 21-mile ride to help heal from the loss of fellow cyclist Jonah Holland and the injury of Natalie Rainer, who is still recovering in the hospital.
“You know, she was such a vibrant individual. To have that cut so short, it’s heartbreaking,” Adam Foldenauer, a friend of Holland’s, said.
Holland was killed on Saturday after being hit by a drunk driver while riding with friend Rainer near Osbourne Turnpike, police said.
One of the organizers for Thursday night’s ride, Josh Silverman, said he was on the same route Saturday and came across police who told him that a cyclist had been killed. He didn’t realize until he got home that it was his friend.
“I don’t know what to say. I mean, it was as shocking as could be. It was shocking. It was anger. It was sadness. It was just absolutely unbelievable when it hits that close to home,” Silverman said.
Silverman said he got to know Holland very well after she joined the Richmond Area Bicycling Association last fall. He said each mile they rode together now holds a lifetime of memories.
“Going from Nashville, Tennessee, 400 miles over six days down the Mississippi River, so I really did get to know her,” Silverman said.
Silverman said Thursday night was about healing for the community but also warning against the danger of drunk driving.
The group rode out to Ashland and back to Crump Park with the only thing on their minds was how Holland and Rainer would both love to be on that ride.
“Jonah loved being a part of this cycling community. In this multi-sport community, she would love this,” Foldenauer said. “I think she would be one of the most sought after and most popular people here. If she was here, she’d be in the middle of this carrying on a couple of different conversations.”
Rainer’s family also showed up to the ride to thank the community and give an update on her condition.
“As we drove here, she was getting prepped for surgery. Her first is going to be clavicle, and as you all probably know, she has so many breaks, and there’s going to be multiple orthopedic surgeries coming after this,” Bob Rainer, Natalie’s uncle, said.
As the ride ended back in Crump Park, many in attendance were already planning their next ride with the mindset of living for Jonah.
“Jonah was so welcoming, and charming, and talkative and just connecting in a great way. I see that being paid back tonight with everyone who felt that deep connection with her,” Foldenauer said.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Rainer’s family to help Natalie with medical costs.
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