Cyclists in Georgetown, Texas will gather on Sunday morning for a somber 26-mile ride to honor Thomas “Tommy” Ketterhagen, a local racer who was killed this week in an apparent hit-and-run. The ride will meet at 10 a.m. at East View High School, where Ketterhagen graduated from in 2015.
Ketterhagen, 19, was a fixture at the Driveway Series criterium racing series in nearby Austin. Kelley Abeles, race director of the Driveway Series, said the ride is being organized as a celebration of Ketterhagen’s life.
“The family wants it to be a celebration of Tommy and not a silent ride,” Abeles said. “Our race announcer will be playing songs that Tommy liked, and people will have an opportunity to say some words before we go.”
Ketterhagen was a member of the 787 Racing club and had been racing on the road for three years. Shiva Mayer, a board member for 787 Racing, said Ketterhagen picked up cycling as a way to cross train for soccer, and quickly became an avid racer. On January 21, Ketterhagen finished 6th place at the local Oatmeal Road Race 3/4 category, which was a personal best for the youngster. Instead of discussing his result with his teammates, Mayer said Ketterhagen instead asked about riders who had crashed on the final lap.
“Tommy won the field sprint and instead of bragging about it he was more concerned with these guys who crashed behind him,” Mayer said. “That was emblematic of Tommy’s personality.”
According to Georgetown police, Ketterhagen was last seen riding his bicycle on Monday evening, and when he did not return home, his family reported him missing to authorities. On Tuesday morning, Ketterhagen’s mother, Luz Ketterhagen, reportedly found his body on the side of the road next to his destroyed bicycle.
On Friday police charged 20-year-old Aaron Davison of Hutto, Texas with accident involving death. According to police, Davison provided a written statement in which he admitted to veering into oncoming traffic and hitting Ketterhagen at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Monday. Davison’s attorney told media that his client had dropped his cell phone, which caused him to veer into the opposite lane.
Mayer said the Austin racing community was “in shock” after learning of Ketterhagen’s death.
“Tommy is the latest in a long line of cyclists in the Central Texas area who have been injured or killed by cars,” Mayer said. “There’s a real feeling of sadness and I sense there’s some anger and real frustration.”