The Sunday Review
Dan Langenkamp, who marked 12 weeks since Sarah Langenkamp’s death, did so on Thursday killed.
To honor herDan and his young sons do the same thing every day around 4:05 pm. the Sarah died at the age of 62. to herThey tell their stories, sharing details of their day. They share. her They love it herThey miss the mark. her, and they hope she’s proud of them.
Sarah Debbink Langenkamp killed August 25, while riding her bike On a Bethesda, Maryland, road. She Was traveling on the biker’s lane when the Driver of a Alongside the flatbed truck her Made a Right turn into a Parking lot, and was run over the 42-year-old police officer said. She At, was declared dead the scene.
“I’ve tried to make sense of what happened to Sarah, and since I started looking into it, I’ve realized this is not a freakish accident,” Dan Langenkamp said. “What happened to her is part of a huge, worsening trend in America of people getting killed in traffic crashes. There’s an epidemic of traffic violence against people walking or biking.”
Just weeks later, the accident happened. the couple, both diplomats, moved back to the After spending approximately $US a An year a Halb in Ukraine Later in Poland, on the border. They were part of a A small group of US government employees who stayed behind after Russia’s invasion but ultimately made the difficult decision to leave, so they could reunite with their two sons – Oliver, 10 and Axel, 8 – whom they had sent to Their children are their best friends in California the war first started.
The couple spent a Few weeks in Washington DC before you move to Bethesda was where they eagerly prepared for the Start of a New chapter. Sarah enrolled in a master’s degree course and, three days after their move there, attended an open house at her son’s new elementary school. Just a few seconds before she was on, her bike to Dan called her back home that evening. to Share her impressions. It was the Last call she made.
“We’ve lived in dangerous places,” Langenkamp stated. “The last thing we expected was that one of us would die or get hurt in Bethesda.”
Langenkamp claimed that his anger has been a Driving force to Push for change in bike safety. Safety. GoFundMe campaign Langenkamp has raised more that $289,000 to Support local and national cycling safety groups in Their efforts were greatly appreciated. to Advocate for safer bike routes.
On Saturday, there were hundreds of People bicycled to Congress in Sarah’s honor in a 10.5-mile Ride for Your Life Event her The husband led and organized. Just feet away the Capitol, a Line of speakers, including Langenkamp, spoke to a sea of Bikers the End of their journey retracing Sarah’s route on the day she died.
The group’s requests to lawmakers include funding for the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment ProgramThe Congressional Authorization Act, but not yet funded, can be used to help local governments invest. in bike lane infrastructure. They’re also asking for more measures around truck safety, including mandating better training and requiring side and front guards on large trucks to Keep people from being caught below.
“I get comfort knowing that, maybe through all of this work, some other mother will ride home safely after riding her bike to work,” Langenkamp stated. “And that’s meaningful to me.”
Many advocates believe that the The fight for safer roads is a long and complex one, even with worsening trends in pedestrian and biker safety. These are the problems. only Driver recklessness has exacerbated the problem. the pandemic and bigger, heavier – and deadlier – vehicles on the Colin Browne stated that roads are important. a Spokesperson the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
There were more than 930 cyclists killed American roads in 2020, a 9% Increase from the According to the previous year, more than 38.800 people were hurt. to data Starting at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Nearly 88% of In that same year, there were fatal bicycle crashes. in Urban areas the Agency said. There were at least 985 cyclists. killed in 2021, a According to the report, there is a 5% increase in 2020 to Early estimates starting at the NHTSA. According to statistics, the number of deaths in cycling accidents among those aged 20 years and older has nearly quadrupled since 1975. to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“It’s a public health crisis,” Browne said. “Even more so because this is, from a technical standpoint, not a challenging problem to solve. The tools and the engineering to make the streets safer to use is out there, it’s tested, it’s proven.”
It has been a challenge to create safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, and regulate large vehicles. a Politically unpopular moves have led to to Slow action from local leaders, added he.
“We could give (funding) to buses and people on bikes and scooters, but we have sort of built an infrastructure that assumes the majority of people will drive,” Browne stated.
Anna Irwin rode as well her bike With her 10-year-old daughter at Saturday’s event to honor Sarah’s memory. She According to The Sunday Review, she was moved by the Size of the Crowd the sound of bike Bells ringing to Langenkamp their support
“It was unbelievably powerful,” She said. “One of the things that I learned very quickly when I got into bike advocacy is this community is so passionate. And they show up.”
Irwin was the founder the Bethesda BIKE Now coalition, a Local group formed in Response to a 2017 decisions from local leaders to shut down a Popular bike The trail that ran through Bethesda at the time the Construction of a Train line.
These five years will be the most successful. the A group called for the Completion of a network of Protected bike routes – formed by two major paths – running from one side of Bethesda to the Other, while the The existing trail is still closed. Irwin acknowledged that progress has not been rapid.
“Here we are, in 2022, and neither one of the routes is completed,” Irwin agreed. “They’ve done some work, but in five years they can’t build a protected bike lane to cover two miles of heavily trafficked area?”
Montgomery County Department of Transportation reported to The Sunday Review that they recently completed the First phase of two segments in the Network and more bike Lanes are being constructed or designed, and can be added to the existing network. “we are building them as fast as we can.”
The department works closely with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is responsible for River Road. Where Sarah was killed.
Friday’s statement by the highway administration stated that it was committed to the Safety of all highway users but did not answer The Sunday Review’s specific questions on bike Trail projects, including construction plans on River Road. On Saturday the department has been added a “comprehensive needs analysis” For a stretch of the Which highway will Help identify strategies to “address pedestrian and bicycle network needs, enhance safety, and improve travel conditions.” In the Officials are currently looking into solutions, including a Speed limit reductions or sign upgrades in That is the part of the It was noted on the road.
The agency last month It announced that construction has begun on another road in North Bethesda is where you will find 18-year-old cyclist This was killed in June a 17-year-old cyclist This was killed in 2019.
“These things could have been prevented,” Irwin agreed. “We have got to just keep educating people about the need for protected bike lanes. You can’t just paint the road and then expect cars to give us the space that we need. It’s not safe.”
Langenkamp said that his fundraising efforts are complete will Also, you can advocate for the state’s transportation department to Create a It is safer bike River Road, where Sarah was. killed.
“Such bike lanes – lacking proper barriers, truck/auto driver education, laws, and law enforcement – are only death traps,” Langenkamp wrote the following message on his GoFundMe page.
The fight for change Langenkamp’s purpose has been realized in What was otherwise an insurmountable three months. Adjusting to As you live your life a single father hasn’t been easy, he said. Just a few days ago, his son noted he had no clean pants for school, and Langenkamp realized he hadn’t done laundry for a week. He often worries what holidays and Mother’s Day will Look like the children.
He said Sarah loved their boys. Even amid a It was a demanding job that required dedication. the All around family the world – including to Baghdad, the Ivory Coast and Uganda – she was always able to Turn off the work and put your focus on her Langenkamp stated that Langenkamp was a member of his family. While working from Poland during Russia’s war on Ukraine, Sarah flew to California for a weekend over the Summer to surprise her On his birthday, the oldest son. She Retour to Europe the weekend was over. It was over. in the weeks before her Return to the US, she wrote heartfelt notes to her friends to her boys, sharing she couldn’t wait until they were reunited.
She Equally amazing was the experience at her job, her The husband added: “She was everybody’s favorite colleague.”
Both met in Their Foreign Service orientation class in 2005, and were we married a Jahr später. “She had this quiet confidence, and a very down-to-earth, friendly demeanor that just really made her easy to get along with,” Langenkamp stated. “She was the kind of boss that everybody loves. Just really smart.”
Und she was never afraid to Go to the Sometimes diplomats are unable to visit places that they were not allowed to. to Tell the story! her It was the husband “where we were needed.”
During their time in UkraineSarah headed the US Embassy’s programs on corruption and law enforcement and was responsible for equipping and supplying its national police and border guard. Und sie war. a “critical player” in Ukraine’s defense efforts and helped Ukrainian police and border guard forces receive equipment like helmets and body armor after the Langenkamp also added invasion After her killing, letters of appreciation poured in From US leaders, including President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. of State Antony Blinken.
“She was our guiding light, really, and our moral compass,” Langenkamp stated. “It was her judgment that helped us through everything.”
Since then, three months her death, reminders of Sarah is everywhere the family’s Bethesda home, Langenkamp said.
There’s a corner – a Part of the home Langenkamp refers to As a “shrine” to his wife – where a candle remains lit by her Pictures surround the urn of the family, notes Sarah’s sons wrote to After they were born, their mom was there her She passed, she used jewelry to Wear, cards from friends and family. Pictures of nearby areas of Sarah is taped up to the ceiling. “We just try to have her around, everywhere,” her The husband agreed.
There’s also a picture Sarah gifted to her The husband and wife at their wedding. It’s a Picture of a bike With the words, “Life is a beautiful ride. Dan and Sarah, est. 2006,” the Year of Their wedding.
“Biking was a thing for us,” He stated. “It was a central part of our lives,” a Mode of Transport that was “down-to-earth, healthy and environmentally friendly,” Langenkamp was added.
Anywhere the A couple tried everything to be themselves. to You can commute by bike He also added, “When possible.” Choosing this fight for safety since his wife’s death was almost like an “impulse,” Langenkamp stated.
“If the least I can do to honor her, a person who had so much potential in her life. If we can do a little bit of good as a result of this, I’ll have been consoled slightly,” He stated.
“It won’t bring her back,” Langenkamp was added. “But at least it will help, a little bit.”