Oregon State University graduate student dies in bicycle crash

Riley Youngman News Editor

29-year-old Albany resident and Oregon State University graduate student Randall Fox died last Saturday after losing control of his road bicycle while riding downhill and colliding with a guardrail.

Fox was competing for the OSU Cycling club team near Auburn, Washington at the University of Washington Omnium when he crashed.

According to Steve Clark, the Vice President University Relations and Marketing at OSU, Fox was a Ph.D. student focusing in thermal fluid sciences.

“Members of the Oregon State community are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Randall,” Clark said in a statement from the university. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Randall’s wife, members of the cycling team, his friends and his OSU colleagues.”

Fox is survived by his wife Leslie Fox, his parents Greg and Judy Fox, in-laws Rosemary and Paul Minner, and his siblings Jana and Brian Fox.

“He was at peace and surrounded by his wife, Leslie and immediate family at his passing,” Fox’s family released in a statement.

The family has asked for privacy at this time.

“He always offered to provide office hours for classes in which he was the graduate teaching assistant,” Fox’s professors said in the statement from the university. “If another faculty member needed anything, Randall was the first to volunteer. He just recently spent all day pulling together calibration equipment for another faculty member’s students.”

Sentiments regarding Fox’s kind hearted nature and passion for cycling were echoed by his club teammates as well.

One of Fox’s teammates, Rutger Farry, a junior in computer science, met Fox through the club and raced was in the same racing category as him. Farry was behind Fox when the accident occurred.

Farry described the incident, saying himself and a competitor from another university saw Fox lose control of his bike and hit his head on the guardrail. Farry and the other racer immediately stopped and ran back up the hill to Fox’s side.

According to Farry, Fox and others were trying to catch up to the main group when the crash happened.

“There was a car following us, a race car, and there was a ski patrol lady who knew first aid, and another man who called 911,” Farry said. “The hill we were on was really steep.”

Those in the car and Farry has been on the Oregon State Cycling club team for the last year, but has not began competitively racing consistently until the last few months. This is the first accident of this kind he has seen or heard of while racing.

“How fickle life is,” Farry said. “Randall was a great guy and I was looking forward to many more races with him.”

According to his cycling computer and those of his teammates and competitors, Farry estimates that Fox was travelling more than 50 mph at the time of the crash. Farry said Fox was wearing a helmet, as is required by the collegiate rules.

Fox was airlifted from the scene of the accident by helicopter, and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

“Holding his hand as the paramedics arrived was the saddest and most powerful minutes of my life,” Farry said. “My deepest regards to everyone who knew and loved Randall Fox.”

OSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, located on the fifth floor of Snell Hall on campus, provides counseling to students who may be affected by this incident and feel they need these services.

Representatives from CAPS say that students can walk in for consultations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is the easiest way to access the services, while students can call the main number at any point in time and talk to an afterhours counselor.

“We have a bereavement group,” said Ian Kellems, the CAPS director. “People grieve differently, be compassionate with yourself and let yourself feel what you are feeling.”

Kellems and representatives from CAPS said that incidents like this can stir up feelings in people who may not have know Fox, but have gone through similar experiences in the past, and that counseling is available for them as well.

CAPS services are free to OSU students .

USA Cycling posted the following message on their Facebook page Monday:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Randall Fox, who died Saturday in Washington while competing for Oregon State. His untimely and tragic death is heartbreaking, and our thoughts and prayers go out to this family, friends and teammates,” the message read.

The OSU Cycling club has decided as a club to decline to comment on the situation at this point in time.

The Cycling club still however plans on attending their previously scheduled race next weekend at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

According to Farry, the team will wear something in honor of Fox, whether that be a white armband over their jerseys or roses intertwined with the handlebars.

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