Questions remain in death of beloved Oldham County runner

Questions remain in death of beloved Oldham County runner
Gary Ferraro and family (Source: Family photo)
The road on which Ferraro was hit and killed is a popular place for runners and cyclists. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The road on which Ferraro was hit and killed is a popular place for runners and cyclists. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Despite new information Monday, many questions remain regarding a runner who was killed along U.S. 42 in Goshen, Kentucky over the weekend.

Around 6 a.m. Saturday, Gary Ferraro, 69, a beloved father, grandfather, retired Los Angeles police officer and athlete was killed on U.S. 42 near Poplar Woods Drive as he was running westbound. Oldham County Police confirmed the driver of a Ford Fusion who hit and killed Ferraro was also going westbound.

The driver told police a truck's oncoming headlights hit his eyes, causing him to look away. When he looked back, he said he saw Ferraro in the middle of his lane.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Goshen man struck while running was retired cop, grandfather

That stretch of roadway is used by hundreds of runners and cyclists each year to train for races. Despite that, a traffic study has never been conducted in the area.

A runner, Amanda Embry, shared an e-mail with us that she sent to the Oldham County Deputy Judge Executive. She said she was concerned about running dangers in many rural areas of Oldham County.

Oldham County officials said there's nothing they can do because U.S. 42 is controlled by the state. However, Andrea Clifford, a spokeswoman with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said the reason a traffic study hasn't been done in that area is because no one -- not county officials, the public nor police -- has asked for it.

One reason drivers on U.S. 42 in Oldham County share the road with runners and cyclists every day is the scenery.

"It's a beautiful area to run," runner and St. Matthews Police Department Assistant Chief David Beyer said. "It's very picturesque."

He was a friend of Ferraro.

"I met him when I was still with the FBI," Beyer said.

Beyer not only shared a history of law enforcement with Ferraro, the two friends also had run marathons at times in their lives, and both loved working out at the Louisville Athletic Club. Beyer said everyone loved Ferraro.

"At a gym, you have a lot of different personality types and philosophical and political beliefs and he just got along so well with everyone," Beyer remembered. "He's just a great guy."

He also said Ferraro was an amazing athlete at 69, and as his family told us, loved helping others. Ironically, Ferraro had just cautioned his friend days ago about his high risk police work.

"You need to be careful out there," Beyer remembered Ferraro saying. "It's a dangerous job.

"To think that on Saturday something like this would happen to him, it was a shock to all of us," Beyer continued.

Ferraro's family told WAVE 3 News he also loved gardening, but more than anything, he was a family man. He and his wife just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

The funeral will be held at Louisville Memorial Gardens on Ballardsville Road Thursday at 11:30 a.m. in Chapel 2.

Instead of suits and ties, the family requests everyone wear their favorite colorful athletic gear to help celebrate his life. Also, in lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Oldham County Humane Society.

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