Celebration of Life Service Held for Metro Cyclist

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CLIVE, Iowa -- Family, friends and the Des Moines metro cycling community said goodbye to a well-known cyclist on Sunday.

A celebration of life ceremony was held for Wade Franck at Living History Farms. Franck used to work at the outdoor museum and more recently worked at Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny.

Last Sunday, the 41-year-old was participating in the Urban Assault Ride in Des Moines. While riding his bike, he was hit by a drunk driver, who fled the scene. Two days later, Franck died from his injuries.

Hundreds of people crammed into the barn space where the memorial service was held. Many of them arrived to the service on their bikes and wearing biking gear as a sign of respect.

Jim Robidoux said the accident will give him a different perspective the next time he hits the road.

"We as cyclists always have to look out for the other guy and we carry that in the back of our head. We shouldn't have to live in such a dangerous situation while riding our bikes to work or with friends," he said. "It's really going to challenge us to look ahead and watch out for our fellow cyclists at all times."

Police say the driver of the vehicle, Jonathan Levya, had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit. He was also driving with a barred license. Levya is charged with homicide by OWI, homicide by reckless driving and failure to render aid resulting in death.

Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny is hosting a bike ride fundraiser. Bikers are encouraged to arrive at the High Trestle Trail Bridge at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. T- shirts will be sold for $10 and all proceeds will go toward the Wade Franck memorial fund.

For more information, you can visit Kyle's Bikes Facebook page.

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