Heather Reu - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member gparkes
N 35° 08.997 W 106° 47.173
13S E 337293 N 3891132
Quick Description: This Ghost Bike was placed here in memory of Heather Reu, who was killed here on June 24, 2009.
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 12/20/2010 10:06:29 PM
Waymark Code: WMABWH
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Jeremy
Views: 5

Long Description:
I feel that an article found on-line tells the story best of this tragic event. The link is listed below.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Victim Lived for Children

By T.J. Wilham

Heather Reu lived for children. She worked at a youth camp for underprivileged kids and taught Sunday school. And when doctors told Reu and her husband they couldn't have children of their own, Reu and her husband adopted four children who were living in foster homes in Vietnam or China.

She then gave up her career as a counselor to stay home with her children.

"Heather was always the type of person who put others before herself," said the Rev. Mike McLaughlin, a close friend who preached at her church, Crossroads Fellowship. "That was reflected in every aspect in her life ... her marriage, her children and her church."

Reu, 42, was on one of her many bike rides Tuesday along Paseo del Volcan near Double Eagle Airport when she was struck by a car. She died instantly.

Moments after the crash, Daniel Gomez, 40, fled the scene, police said. He ran about 200 yards away from the airport into the open mesa.

A witness saw Gomez running on a dirt road, stopped his car, shouted at Gomez and made sure he stayed around for police, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Lindley said.

Deputies found a crack pipe in his car, cocaine residue on two folded $100 bills in his pockets and blackened finger tips — a sign he frequently smoked narcotics, according to a Metropolitan Court criminal complaint.

"He had to run by her to run the direction he ran. Someone who is remorseful would stay there and help with what could be done," Lindley said. "I think he was remorseful that he got caught. I don't think he is remorseful that he killed someone."

Gomez "adequately passed" sobriety tests. Deputies took a blood sample to see if he was under the influence of narcotics and took him to jail. He told deputies he had one beer, Lindley said.

Lindley said the tire of the vehicle Gomez was driving briefly left the roadway moments before he struck Reu. Gomez told investigators he looked down to pick up his cell phone, which had fallen to the seat.

Gomez was in custody on charges of possession of a controlled substance and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. His bail is set at $7,500.

Police say more charges could come once the blood tests are conducted.

Gomez, who told correctional officers he was born in Durango, Mexico, did not have felony arrests, according to New Mexico court records. He had received at least seven traffic citations and was jailed for driving on a suspended driver's license, failing to appear in court and failing to pay fines.

"This is so tragic," said Reu's aunt, Helen Eklund. "You couldn't write anything bad about her because she was a wonderful person."
Raised in Indiana, Reu moved to New Mexico about six years ago after her husband got a job at Sandia National Laboratories. She decided then to be a stay-at-home mother.

Reu took up biking about two years ago after she was diagnosed with arthritis. Friends said she was working to participate in a triathlon.

She and her husband, Phil, adopted four children — two boys and two girls — within five years. The children are ages 7, 5, 4 and 3.

Reu organized camps for adopted kids who come overseas. She also taught Sunday school at Crossroads Fellowship, counseled teenagers and was secretary of the Lew Wallace Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.

Reu spent time blogging on Web sites for parents who had adopted international children. She talked about how to cook, do laundry and how to make sure a full house always has milk.

About a month ago, Reu posted this on a popular blog for adoptive parents: "Although now I'm done ... four is enough for me!!:) My oldest turns 7 tomorrow, youngest is 3.5. They are all tremendous blessings to us."

Article found at topix.com: (visit link)


A follow up to the website shows the man was illegally in the United States and only sentenced to 18 months with credit for time served. He can easily be out of prison by January 2011. The text of the article reads:

Man sentenced for killing bicyclist
Daniel Rubio Gomez jailed for only 3 more months
Updated: Tuesday, 07 Sep 2010, 5:59 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 07 Sep 2010, 4:49 PM MDT

Reporter: Maria Medina
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A man who hit and killed a bicyclist and fled the scene more than a year ago learned Tuesday that he can walk out of jail in less than four months.

A Bernalillo County District Court judge sentenced Daniel Rubio Gomez to 18 months in jail and 18 months supervised probation for fatally striking Heather Reu as she rode her bicycle on June 22, 2009.

Rubio has been in jail since that fatal accident, and with credit for the time served could be released in January. On Tuesday he apologized to Reu's family through an interpreter.

"I ask the family to forgive me, and I also feel very bad," Rubio said.

But the apology from Rubio will never take away the pain that Reu's husband, Phillip Reu, described to the judge.

"I miss my wife everyday," he said. "It has been painful to slowly forget what it feels like to love and be loved."

The greatest pain he said he feels is for his four children.

"She was a stay-at-home mom who spent her life figuring out how to make their lives better," Reu through tears.

A collage of pictures showed happier times in the Reu family.

Reu was riding along Paseo del Volcán NW and, according to police, obeying all traffic laws when Rubio struck her with his truck and ran from the scene.

He never stopped to help.

Rubio, identified as an illegal immigrant, was confronted by witnesses. Police said they found drugs on him but that he had not been drinking alcohol.

"In a split second you broke our hearts and changed our lives forever when you chose to drive without a license carelessly and recklessly," Ray Cramer, Reu's father, said.

He asked Rubio to think about what the accident has caused a lifetime of grief. Before he was sentenced, Rubio asked the Reu family to forgive him.

"We had a great family put together, a community we enjoyed being involved with and a loving marriage," Phillip Reu said.

This article can be found at KRQE Channel 13 News website: (visit link)
Age of victim: 42

Name of the victim: Heather Reu

Date of the accident: 7/9/2009

Accident resulted in a fatality: yes

News Article Web Page: [Web Link]

Memorial Web Page: [Web Link]

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