It turns out the Canadian bicyclist who died at a Sioux Falls hospital Monday after being hit by a truck on Interstate 29 last Thursday, June 9th, was on his way to Hot Springs on a long-distance ride to raise money for his granddaughter’s kidney transplant.
53-year-old Jean-Pierre Petit of Winnipeg, Manitoba, was riding along the fogline when he was hit from behind by a southbound truck driven by 65-year old Mark Akkerman of Brandon, SD.
Petit was wearing a helmet, but sustained life-threatening injuries. He was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital, where he died 4 days later.
Akkerman was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. Charges against him are pending in the case.
Petit’s granddaughter, Eveline, has suffered from end-stage kidney disease since she was born.
He was a runner whose first 100-mile ultra-marathon had been in Hot Springs and he remembered seeing Kidney Springs, a natural spring with a sign that detailed how the minerals in the water promoted kidney health.
He decided to go back to Hot Springs as a fundraiser, but realized running would take too long and settled on biking the 838-miles.
Petit set up an online donation page on Facebook, Cycle4Eveline, with a goal of $20,000 Canadian – a little of $15,000 in U-S dollars – and carried a sign on the trip from Winnipeg that read “Let’s make anything possible.”
After word spread of his death, the online total continued to grow and as of June 17 had topped $29,000 Canadian – over $22,000 U-S.
Family members said on Facebook that those wishing to honor Petit can continue to direct donations to Cycle4Eveline..