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City man killed in Nev. bike crash

September 22, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN - A Hagerstown man was killed in Nevada on Thursday doing what he enjoyed: riding a bicycle.

The Washoe County (Nev.) Sheriff's Department said Lloyd W. Clarke, 43, was riding fast down a hill near Lake Tahoe. His bike hit a pickup truck that was heading toward him and turned in front of him, police said.

Mark Youngblood of Hagerstown said Clarke was a regular in a bike-riding group that left most mornings from Port City Java in Long Meadow Shopping Center.

Even in the winter, when it was too cold for other riders, "I knew Lloyd would be over there waiting," he said.

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Steve Weddles of Mercersburg, Pa., said he rode with Clarke once or twice a week and described him as "a super nice guy" who was quick to laugh.

Police said Clarke apparently was on a business trip in Nevada. It's common, though, for cycling enthusiasts to ride whenever they travel and to bring cycling gear, Youngblood said.

He recalled a memorable ride Clarke had in Hawaii, starting at sea level and climbing to about 10,000 feet.

Youngblood said Clarke called this week and asked if he could ship some bicycle pedals Clarke had left home, which Youngblood did.

Clarke worked for the Arlington, Va., office of ILOG, a computer software and services business. The company also has an office in Incline Village, Nev., the site of the crash.

Deputy Brooke Keast, a public information officer for the Washoe County Sheriff's Department, said Clarke was riding downhill on a steep road.

The crash happened at about 6:55 p.m. Pacific time.

Capt. Steve Kelly, the commander of the sheriff's department's Incline Village substation, estimated the grade at 6 or 7 percent.

It was a clear day and it was still light out, Keast said.

Clarke had rented a bicycle. Kelly said Clarke was wearing a helmet, but he was going too fast for the helmet to have helped much.

Clarke was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The site of the crash was a residential neighborhood, at the other end of the village from the street where ILOG's office is, Kelly said.

An ILOG newsletter online referred to Clarke as a product manager on a particular software system.

A woman who answered the phone at Clarke's home on Thursday said the family wasn't able to talk about him.

Youngblood said Clarke was a family man devoted to his daughter. Every day for several weeks over the summer, Clarke drove her to Olney, Md., so she could be in an academic program, waited until she was done, then drove her home, Youngblood said.

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