JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Cyclists nearing to the top of Lookout Mountain Road will now ride past a stack of flowers and a photo of a man who shared the same love.
According to deputies, Tom Flanagan, 38, was riding his bike down Lookout Mountain last Friday when he was hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver coming the other direction.
“I think everyone was kind of in disbelief that he was gone,” said friend Lindsay Gillham.
Court papers show that 20-year-old Zachary Strnad was more than two times the legal limit when he got behind the wheel and attempted to navigate the dangerous stretch of road.
According to investigators, Strnad was attempting to go around another vehicle in a no passing zone on a dangerous curve when he hit and killed Flanagan.
Court documents reveal he and a passenger had downed a bottle of whiskey and then purchased beer for the road.
“I think everyone was kind of in disbelief that he was gone,” Gillham said.
Co-workers said Flanagan was a selfless leader dedicated to his work and his family. News of his death and the circumstances surrounding it were devastating they say.
“It’s extremely painful to hear,” said one.
“He was just amazing, he was generous, kind. One of those people that didn’t speak poorly of anyone just a great guy,” said Gillham.
The sentiments were echoed by dozens of others on a fundraising page set up for Flanagan’s wife and child to assist through the difficult time.
“If you scroll through the comments you can’t help but be moved by that,” said a friend.
In just a matter of days, the GoFundMe page has raised thousands of dollars.
Strnad faces felony homicide and reckless driving charges. He also faces misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence and having an open container in a vehicle.
Flanagan was employed by the National Park Service and leaves behind a wife, Carrie, and 7-year-old son, Owen. To make a donation to his family to help with mounting debt, visit Tom Flanagan’s GoFundMe page.