Chicago man was killed by a hit-and-run driver

August 18, 2008 4:57:48 PM PDT
A Chicago man was killed by a hit-and-run driver while on a bicycle ride in Wisconsin.Another rider was injured.

They were on a road near Wilmot over the weekend when they were hit.

Gordon Kleifield was an avid bicyclist. He was just coming around from years of trouble with his back and had purchased an electric power-assist bike. He was pedaling away Saturday night around 7:30, ending a ten-mile spin with his buddy Daniel Dugan, when a hit-and-run driver slammed them from behind.

Dan Dugan and Wes Schroeder are avid bicyclists. So too was their good friend Kleifield. Saturday evening, Dugan and Kleifield were riding on Highway C, just a half mile from their destination in Wilmot. Kleifield was well onto the gravel portion of the road shoulder. In his mirror, Dugan said he saw a pickup speeding at them from behind.

"This guy was driving on the shoulder, just missing the mail boxes," Dugan said. "Before I knew it, we were both flying through the air. I was stopped when I hit a tree. I got up and gave Gordon CPR."

The driver of the pickup never stopped. Kleifield, who was to celebrate his 45th birthday Wednesday, never regained consciousness and was later pronounced dead.

"He had thousands of miles under his belt. He'd been riding since the 80s," said Schroeder.

His buddies shared many of those miles with Kleifield, and over the years, developed a deep friendship with a man who they say really loved life and was always grateful for the little things.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back, was always concerned about the well-being of others," said Schroeder.

"He was very careful. He was riding for a long time," said Beverly Weiner, firend.

"We can't comprehend how somebody could do this and not stop," said Dugan.

Dugan remarkably survived without serious injury.

The passenger side mirror from the gray pickup truck was knocked off when Kleifield and Dugan were hit. Investigators have examined it and other evidence that they hope will lead them to the hit-and-run driver.


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