Canadian fatally shot while cycling through SD to raise money for sick granddaughter – Twin Cities
BROOKINGS, SD – A 53-year-old man cycling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Hot Springs, Ark., in an effort to raise money for his granddaughter’s medical condition has died after being hit by a vehicle on Interstate 29 last week.
According to the South Dakota Highway Patrol, on June 9, Jean-Pierre Petit was biking on I-29 about 17 miles north of Brookings when a truck hit him along the fog line.
Petit, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to hospital in Sioux Falls, where he died on Monday.
Truck driver Mark Akkerman, 65, of Brandon, SD, is expected to face charges in connection with the crash, which is still being investigated by Highway Patrol.
In an effort to raise funds for his granddaughter, Eveline, who has suffered from end-stage kidney disease since birth, Petit came up with the idea of cycling a route from Winnipeg to Hot Springs.
Petit ran his first-ever 100-mile ultra-marathon in Hot Springs. While in town, he saw Kidney Springs, a natural spring that detailed how the minerals in the water promote kidney health.
After Eveline was born, Petit said he was inspired to take the trip again. He first thought of running but realized it would take too long. Instead, he decided to cycle a route of about 800 miles.
After beginning his trek on June 4, Petit cycled about 62 miles each day, before reaching Watertown after five days.
It was on Day 6, after cycling nearly 400 miles and raising almost $18,000, that Petit was hit north of Brookings on I-29. South Dakota does not prohibit biking along interstate highways.
Since the crash, family and friends have taken to the Cycle4Eveline Facebook page to mourn the loss of Petit, also known as JP.
“JP has always focused on the health and safety of others. He leaves behind an incredible legacy which includes his recent support of his son and granddaughter during their kidney donation experience, then his fundraising plan to support Eveline’s kidney transplant and for others. children who need nephrology care,” an article written by his family readings. “And now, with that legacy, he’s donating his organs to help save more lives.”
From the start of Petit’s journey through Wednesday afternoon, more than $22,000 (about US$17,000) has been raised, slightly more than the original goal of $20,000.
Petit’s family said on Facebook that those wishing to honor Petit can make donations to Cycle4Eveline. He is survived by his wife, three children and grandchildren.