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Family of Man who Died on "Route 66" Visit Site - KOAM TV 7

Family of Man who Died on "Route 66" Visit Site

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GALENA, KANSAS -

Simon and Anna Buchel were in Galena today.

The brother and sister made the trip from Germany to visit the site where their father died on "Route 66". 

Heinz-Gerd Buchel and his friend.. Also from Germany.. were both hit and killed by a vehicle while they were cycling along the "mother road" near Riverton  and Galena earlier this month.

The Buchels placed crosses at the site.. and met with the emergency responders that tried to save the lives of both men. 

They also released a statement regarding the pain of their loss.. and visited the "ghost bike" in galena to honor his memory.

Curt Leitz, a close family friend, says, "When Simon and Anna first came to Kansas, we knew that we were just trying to first understand what happened when they were thousands of miles away, and second is to help them with a sense of grieving, and the white bicycle is just a beautiful memorial for that."

The family did not address the circumstances surrounding the death of their father and his friend as the investigation is ongoing.

Below is a statement from the family of Heinz-Gerd Buchel.

"When our father Heinz-Gerd Büchel and his friend Harry Jung started their journey along Route 66 we never imagined the terrible end it would take. Their sudden deaths have brought great loss and sorrow for so many friends and family members; our father left behind two siblings, his longtime wife, three children and three grandchildren.
Knowing that the accident happened thousands of miles away from home made us feel very insecure and desperate. Therefore, we are very touched by the still, ongoing support from local cycling groups and individuals who have shown, that for us, Galena is not only the place where our father died, but a great community who takes care of each other. Our father loved interacting with people on his bicycle trips and would also be very happy knowing that there has been such a local interest in his fate. We are especially touched by the ghost bike and the crosses which have been placed for our father and Harry Jung. They would have appreciated these efforts toward greater safety for bicyclists.
We would particularly like to thank the first responders who rushed to assist our father and Harry. The work you do is difficult, sometimes thankless, and occasionally traumatic. We cannot thank you enough.
We also thank everybody who has helped us here in the U.S. to make the burden of our father's death a little lighter. Your words of sympathy and kindness have touched our hearts and bring comfort in this difficult time in our lives."

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