Maui family ‘ripped apart’ after beloved cyclist killed in crash
Kahului (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Maui family is mourning the loss of a 59-year-old bicyclist who police say was fatally struck when a driver went into the oncoming lane to overtake multiple vehicles.
Those who knew Volker Weiss say he was a goofball, adventurous, and had a childlike sense of wonder. “He meant so much to my family and he really became the best dad that my sister and I could have,” said Weiss’ stepdaughter Marina Starleaf Riker. “It’s never going to be the same.”
Weiss and his friends — all avid cyclists — were taking a joy ride Thursday around the island and stopped in Kula for a cookie before heading home in Kahului down Pulehu Road.
“It was over in one second,” Jonathan Garrett said.
Garrett said an oncoming driver crossed a solid double yellow line, overtook approximately five cars, just missed him and their other friend, and plowed straight into Weiss.
“I held his hand, and I started talking to him and I told him we were there. I told him help was coming and I told him we loved him, and I did that over and over until they made me stop,” said Garrett.
Maui police arrested Jeffery Short, 61, for first-degree negligent homicide. He was later released pending investigation. Short’s record shows a prior conviction from 2011 for consuming or possessing intoxicating liquor while operating a vehicle.
Garrett is calling on lawmakers for changes.
“The officer on the scene ought to be able to take your license on the spot and you can ride the bus until the due process plays out. People might learn something from that,” he said. “If it’s determined that it really was negligent, maybe you ride the bus forever. We have public transportation here.”
“You’ll be OK. My friend is not OK,” he said.
“An accident is you forget something on your grocery list or something like that. These aren’t accidents. These are entirely preventable tragedies that just rip apart families,” said Riker.
A ride of silence honoring Weiss will be held on Sunday, Aug. 6. For more information, click here.
In addition, the Hawaii Bicycling League set up a memorial page for Weiss. They said donations will support advocacy toward safer roads for cyclists in Maui County and across the state.
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