Bicyclist headed to see dad when struck, killed

Driver of van hospitalized after crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 36-year-old man just off work was on his way to spend Father's Day with his dad and siblings when police say he was struck by a speeding SUV on Townsend Boulevard in Arlington.

Police say John Dougherty Jr. was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk of Townsend hear Merrill Road when a northbound Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by Lee Bond swerved off the road and struck Dougherty.

Pinned between the vehicle and a cement wall, police say Dougherty died at the scene.

"As a parent, you always want to go first," said the victim's father, John Dougherty. "He was my best friend."

The crash caused the SUV to flip over and Bond, 29, was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with life-threatening injuries.

While officers believe Bond was speeding, they but do not believe alcohol was a factor.

On Monday, flowers marked the spot where Dougherty died. His family is grieving, but not necessarily angry with the driver.

"Everyone is human and we make mistakes, but I was just angry in general and wants to know, 'why my brother?'" said the victim's older sister, Kathleen Klingaman.

As police investigate the crash, the family begins to make funeral arrangements and tries to focus on the funny, easy-going brother and son they got to see grow up.

"He had a great outlook, and he always said, 'When ... it's my time ... don't cry and celebrate me,'" said Dougherty's younger sister, Suzanne Winkler.

While police are still investigating why Bond was speeding and left the road, neighbors say there's a pattern of vehicles exceeding the posted 35 mph on Townsend Boulevard.

"You've got an open road. It's wide; it's got three lanes. People have the propensity to take advantage of this open area and people will go over the speed limit," said Channel 4 safety expert Ken Jefferson.

Jefferson recommends that anyone who has a problem with speeders in their neighborhood to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Advisory Council -- SHADCO -- at 904-630-2160.

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