Hundreds say goodbye to DC cyclist killed in crash

It was an emotional outpouring of support Thursday night as a large crowd gathered to pay tribute to Jim Pagels, a D.C. bicyclist who was killed in a crash last week.

“There was never a boring moment talking to Jim,” said Christine Jordan, who was friends with Pagels. “Jim, I’ll miss you a whole lot, but I’ll honor your memory as best as I can as often as I can.”

Pagels was hit by a car Friday in a chain-reaction crash near Union Station.

According to police, the car that crashed into Pagels struck several other vehicles in the area of Massachusetts Avenue and Second Street in Northwest.

That is now the site of a “ghost bike,” which is a bicycle painted white and meant to serve as a memorial.

“Jim loved biking,” said Finn Vigeland, another friend of Pagels. “He knew that the best way to see a city was on two wheels.”

Thursday’s event included a memorial bike ride and a moment of silence, with several fellow cyclists in attendance calling on the District to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Organizers estimated that roughly 500 people showed up.

“Wide open streets like Massachusetts Avenue are not safest for our most vulnerable road users,” Vigeland said.

Just hours before Pagels was hit by the car, he indicated in a Twitter post that he did not feel safe riding around certain parts of D.C. during times of heavy traffic.

Police are still investigating the crash. It is not clear whether any drivers involved will face charges.

Pagels was 29 and originally from Dallas. He had lived in D.C. since his early 20s, when he moved to the nation’s capital to take a job working at the Federal Reserve.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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