Days after he was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bike in Lyons, Boulder's Michel Van Duym was remembered by coworkers as a kind, patient man who loved cycling and went out of his way to help others.
Van Duym, 46, was riding his bike down Main Street in Lyons on Saturday afternoon when an SUV that was apparently driving the wrong way struck him, according the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. Witnesses performed CPR, but Van Duym was declared dead at the scene, officials say.
For the past four years, Van Duym had worked as a sales representative at GHX, a Louisville-based healthcare supply chain management firm, according to company officials.
Murali Munuswamy was a co-worker of Van Duym's at GHX for the past three years and had grown close with him, regularly eating lunch with him and going out to dinner with Van Duym and his wife. Munuswamy described his friend as "the nicest guy I ever met."
"He was a pure gem with so much spirit," Munuswamy said. "He was always very optimistic and always had a smile on his face."
Munuswamy said Van Duym was enthusiastic about his cycling hobby, often talking about rides he had been on over the previous weekend. He usually tried to put in between 150 and 200 miles on his bike each week, Munuswamy said.
Munuswamy said he remembers Van Duym telling him about the ride he went on in the Fort Collins area the weekend of May 4 and 5. Along his ride, Van Duym encountered another cyclist sitting off the side of a road in a ditch, Munuswamy recalled. When he went to check on the person, he saw that the rider had fallen off his bike and suffered a nasty facial injury. Van Duym called for help and waited with the wounded rider until emergency crews arrived to administer care, Munuswamy said.
Van Duym brought a similar caring approach with him to work, according to his friend, taking time to coach other employees from all departments on things such as customer service.
"No matter how many times people would come and ask the same questions, he would still explain it very clearly," Munuswamy said. "He was a very patient guy and a very helpful guy. I can't believe he is no longer with us."
Cheryl Flury, GHX's vice president of corporate communications, echoed Munuswamy's comments.
"We're all going to miss him so much," she said. "He was the most positive person."
Flury said GHX is looking into doing something to honor Van Duym's memory, such as donating to a charity.
Lyons resident Patrick Ward, 69, was behind the wheel of the SUV that struck Van Duym, officials say. Ward was headed westbound in the eastbound lanes of Main Street when the accident occurred, though it is possible he was attempting to make a turn at the time, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.
Ward has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, careless driving resulting in death and driving under the influence of alcohol. His bond is $25,000.
Ward will appear in the Boulder County Jail's courtroom at 2 p.m. Wednesday for filing of charges in the case.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.