BETHESDA, Md. — In the quiet morning air on Saturday, thousands of bike bells rang out on River Road in Bethesda, in memory of Sarah Langenkamp, a mother, wife and foreign service officer.
The cyclists rang the bells as they passed the place where Langenkamp was fatally hit on her bike by a flatbed truck in August. She was riding in a bike lane after just dropping her two sons off at their elementary school.
The Montgomery County Police Department tells WUSA9 that the truck driver involved was issued the following citations by the State's Attorney's Office on November 11:
- Failure to yield right of way in bike lane/shoulder to rider of bike
- Negligent driving vehicle in careless and imprudent manner endangering property, life, and person
- Causing the death of a vulnerable individual while operating a motor vehicle
Thousands made the 10 mile ride from the school to Congress in the Washington area's largest ever 'Ride For Your Life', led by her husband, Dan Langenkamp.
"Knowing that we might be able to help some other mother going home from an elementary school, consoles me," he said. "Because I just can't bear the idea of her dying completely senselessly."
It's been less than three months since Sarah died.
Her family, including 10-year-old Oliver, have responded by seeking to help others.
"We can't go back in time, but we can change the future for other people," said Oliver. "And if we can do that, then they don’t have to experience how this is going to be. And I don’t think they would want to."
The cyclists of the 'Ride For Your Life' rallied outside of Congress to demand that it fund legislation to make streets safer for pedestrians and bikes, and put into effect new trucking regulations that could possibly have prevented Sarah's death.
"We have to turn around these trends, really," Dan said. "About pedestrian, cyclist and road traffic crashes around the country, there's just too many deaths."
More than 930 bicyclists were killed in 2020 and 38,000 injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sarah's husband has also raised $300,000 though a GoFundMe. He will donate the money to several safety advocacy organizations, including the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, to fund a Maryland advocate to work the halls of legislature; Families for Safe Streets which helps families recover from traffic crashes; and the League of American Bicyclists, among others.
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