BETHESDA, Md. - An 81-year-old bicyclist was hit and killed on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda Monday.
The victim’s family said Ned Gaylin was a father of four and grandfather of three. He was a renowned family therapist and former professor at the University of Maryland.
“My dad was at a really great phase in his life,” said Gaylin’s son, Jed. “First and foremost, he loved his family.”
According to police, Gaylin was traveling eastbound on the Capital Crescent Trail in his three-wheeled recumbent bicycle and was crossing in a marked crosswalk on Little Falls Parkway between Arlington Road and Hillandale Road.
The driver, 78-year-old Nils Rudelius, who hit Gaylin told FOX 5 he is devastated, and did not see Gaylin in the crosswalk.
Jed Gaylin said his father had many hobbies including writing, painting and making music. He said biking had recently become a major passion and his dad would travel up to seven miles.
“I like to think he was out doing what he loved,” he said. “He didn’t suffer. That was the first question I asked the doctor.”
While there is a crosswalk where the trail meets Little Falls Parkway, there is no traffic light or stop sign for drivers. FOX 5 saw several close calls including a bicyclist nearly hit by a woman in an SUV.
“I don’t know if she ever realized I was there,” the biker said. "She never looked at me, never made eye contact."
While some said the intersection is unsafe, one woman who frequently uses the trail noted recent improvements.
“Improvements were made about a year ago,” said Terry Roberts. “It really improved. They put up a lot more signage. They painted (the crosswalk) bright white.”
Gaylin’s son said he hopes his family’s loss will inspire change.
“It takes something like this and now there will be a traffic light, and there should be,” he said. “My understanding from just talking to people is there are near-misses all the time at that intersection.”