Riding in memory of the Doolittles

Published: Apr. 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:28 PM EDT
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Cyclists take to the streets to remember the Doolittles and Brody Winslow.
Cyclists take to the streets to remember the Doolittles and Brody Winslow.
Jerseys that are being sold bearing the Doolittle name to support a non-profit setup for the...
Jerseys that are being sold bearing the Doolittle name to support a non-profit setup for the family.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Almost a year since Trey and David Doolittle were killed while riding their bikes on River Road on a Sunday morning, people hopped on their bikes to honor their memory.

Sunday was the second Doolittle Memorial Ride. Riders took off from Ashley High School. The rain held off, and about 100 people came out to support the Doolittle family and raise awareness of bike safety in Wilmington.

Joy Doolittle lost her son and ex-husband in the accident.

"I think I've only ridden one time in the past year and it was only around the neighborhood so this'll be the first time I've been back on the road," Doolittle said.

She said she has fond memories of her family riding their bikes together.

"It's something that as a family we enjoy doing and there's lots of good memories," she said.

Doolittle said Tom Clifford approached her about having a bike ride to remember the Trey and David.

"I feel like that family needed a lot of support and this community needed to raise awareness of cycling and how to be safe on the roads," Clifford said.

Clifford said there are some simple things that bikers can do to make sure they're safe. He said wearing bright clothing, using lights, and traveling in large groups can help to keep people safe. But, he said, everyone is responsible for safety.

"It's not just the cars it's not just the cyclists, everybody has to work together on it to stay safe," Clifford said.

District Attorney Ben David was instrumental in putting the man who killed the Doolittles behind bars. Thomas Grooms was convicted of second-degree murder after what David said was a night of drinking and snorting bath salts.

"Impaired driving is no accident and we have to do more as a community to make sure these accidents are prevented by people taking keys from an impaired driver and not letting them on the road," David said.

Trey Doolittle was days away from turning 18. Now, many of his friends are in college and are facing some tough choices.

"I know that for a lot of Trey's friends, it's made a big difference to them as they're starting college and the adult years of drinking and partying and they're very aware of how their decision can affect other people and their own lives as well," said Joy Doolittle.

People also got on their bikes to remember Brody Winslow. Winslow, 20 of Wilmington, was killed earlier this month in a hit-and-run accident in Hawaii, where he was attending college.  Winslow's parents said their son was planning to come back to Wrightsville Beach for the summer.

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