RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond bicyclist was killed after being hit by a truck while riding in New York City. The victim, 20-year-old Robyn Hightman, died later at the hospital. 8News spoke with one of Hightman’s friends Tuesday following the tragic loss.
Robbie Wood, one of Hightman’s friends, said the 20–year-old was a hardworking inspiration who was in New York City to connect with other cyclists. Hightman used they/their as their pronoun, according to friends.
“It’s a miracle the people that got to meet them, got to meet them. It’s a shame that more people will not now,” Wood told 8News.
The 11th cyclist killed in New York City this year hits close to the Richmond community.
“I just screamed (expletive) inside and put my head down, and I just wanted to be alone,” Wood said. “One of our was taken. And I’m just thinking about how we can keep them alive in different ways.”
Hightman, who loved to ride, was a bike courier while living in the city.
“As a cyclist, they were pretty inspiring. One day they came into the shop and told me, ‘hey, Robbie, I just biked to Jamestown and Richmond twice in a day.”
Hightman didn’t stop there. The 20-year-old from Richmond rode that bike up to Manhattan to train with a professional women’s cycling team. Wood believes Hightman’s death brings up a needed conversation about bike lanes.
“They were really responsible. Really, really hardworking and it’s a real shame,” Wood explained. “It is a big loss, but there will be groups all over using this as a way to point at look you gotta pay attention on the road out there.”
People in the biking community told 8News Hightman was loved by many and will be truly missed.
Stay with 8News for the full report at 5 & 6.