Tribute held for young woman struck while riding bike on Bardstown Road - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Tribute held for young woman struck while riding bike on Bardstown Road

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Jennifer Futrell Jennifer Futrell

By Lindsay English - bio | email
Posted By Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tuesday afternoon 27-year-old Jennifer Futrell was riding her bike on Bardstown Road when she was hit by a van. Family members tell us she's on life-support and is not expected to survive. On Thursday, fellow cyclists come together to honor Jennifer and raise awareness about bike safety. WAVE 3's Lindsay English was there.

Near Rubel Avenue and Broadway, police cars blocked the road Thursday evening as LMPD officers investigated yet another accident involving a bicyclist.

An LMPD spokesperson said a 25-year-old UofL student was hit on her bike, then transported to University Hospital with minor injuries. This happened just as others were gathering a few blocks away to pay tribute to Jennifer Futrell, who wasn't so fortunate.

"Obviously, her family is...we're still in shock. And it doesn't seem natural that your child would die before you," said her mother, Barbara Hedspeth.

Hedspeth says as hard as the past few days have been, she wants to focus on what good can come out of her daughter's situation. "We have got to begin to do things differently, and bicycles are going to be an important part of our reaction to this energy crisis and that sort of thing."

During Thursday's tribute, Jennifer's friends and loved ones gathered around a bike spraypainted white - a ghost bike. Everyone there wanted the public to be aware of what happens when people get impatient about sharing the road.

"What I wanted people to take away from this is that everyone on a bike is somebody's baby and we need to be as conscious as we would like others to be for our children when you're coming down the street," said Molly Tevisorona, Jennifer's longtime friend.

As more people choose to get around by bike these days, simply slowing down could be what saves a life.

"That's what she always wanted to do, was get people to make better changes in their lives," Molly said. "She really felt that biking was one of those things."

Jennifer's family and friends also want to encourage bicyclists to wear a helmet when they ride. Jennifer was not wearing when she was struck.