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Killed Los Gatos Bicyclist Remembered as 'Good Father, Neighbor, Friend'

Robert Koechlin Jr., 45, died after collision with car Saturday morning in town of Truckee.

The Los Gatos bicyclist who died Saturday during an accident with a car in Truckee is being remembered by friends and family as a great father and neighbor.

Truckee police officials say Robert Koechlin Jr., 45, was killed in a collision with a vehicle in the McIvers Roundabout at Donner Pass Road.

Several citizens were performing first aid on Koechlin, who was transported to Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, where he was pronounced dead.

Los Gatos resident Sharon Childs, his neighbor across the street from his Placer Oaks Road home, recalled Koechlin, wife and daughter living in her neighborhood for many years.

"I didn't know him well, but he was our neighbor ... and I watched him play with his little girl while growing up. There are others in our neighborhood who knew him a lot better," Childs said, who's also executive director of the Los Gatos Community Foundation.

Because Koechlin was in such great physical shape, Childs said he didn't appear to be his age, many thinking he was much younger.

Childs guessed the family has lived in the neighborhood for several years.

On the Mercury News obituary page, many friends were expressing their deep sympathies and words of support for his wife and daughter. A total of 46 messages of condolences had been left for Koechlin's family and loved ones.

San Jose resident Starr Tiano wrote: "Robert- You will be truly missed by all of us that you have blessed your presence upon. You always made me laugh and I enjoyed the years I worked with you. May your memories give your family the strength they need. XOXO"

Holly Shearer, of Santa Clara, said: "In life there are a few people that can be considered exceptional human beings. You know, those folks that you remark have a heart of gold, that would give the shirt of their back, that are selfless and always thinking of others. Robert was one of those people. He touched so many lives including mine and I'm privileged to have called him one of my closest friends. He will be missed but he will never be forgotten. He was one in a million." 

The family was vacationing in Truckee when the accident took place and Koechlin is said to have been on a leisure bike ride when the collision occurred the morning of Saturday, Nov. 24.

Sharon and Eric Childs, who used to do triathlons, said they were also devastated with the news because they have also lost many friends in tragic bicycle accidents. "It's such a tragic thing," Sharon Childs said.

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz November 28, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Very Sad. Heard this Gentleman was a wonderful person. My condolences to his Family & Friends.
Colleen Wilson November 29, 2012 at 03:10 AM
I have meet Bobby before but I know his Mom and Dad. What a lovely family. My sympathy goes out to all!!!

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