By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The cold April night didn’t matter much to the more than 100 people who flooded Dinkytown in Minneapolis on their bikes, pedaling a one mile loop. The showing of support was a memorial tribute to 25-year-old Kimberly Hull, the University of Minnesota student killed last week.
Hull, who was known by loved ones as Audrey, was hit by a truck while biking near campus on the corner of 4th Avenue and 15th Avenue Southeast.
“I wish I would have know her and know the incredible person she was,” said Kyle Torfin, an avid cyclist from Elk River, who says he was gripped by the tragic way Hull died.
“For some reason, this I grabbed onto,” said Torfin, who decided to organize a memorial ride over Facebook, deciding that “we are going to show family and friends we are here for them.”
At 7 p.m. Wednesday night, crowds gathered at Van Cleve park, many of them strangers. The compassionate force circled around Dinkytown 25 times, one lap for every year of Hull’s life.
Many in the crowd wore cat themed gear and cat costumes, in tribute to Hull’s love for cats. Friends say she was equally passionate about cycling, and never learned to drive. She just belonged on her bike.
“She was so excited to get out on her bike,” said Katelyn Whitehead, who worked in TV production on campus with Hull. “We just (want) to spread the word about bike safety, make the place safer because of her.”
Also in the crowd, was Audrey’s family. Her father, Harry Hull, says the entire family is dedicated to cycling, and even in their grief, they came out to emphasize a greater message. They hope the public will pay more attention to the rules of the road.
“We want to encourage both drivers and bicyclists to ride safely, particularly in the area around the University where there is so many pedestrians bicyclists and everything so congested,” said Harry.
Harry says his family was touched by the support, evidence his daughter was loved by many.
Minneapolis Police continue to investigate the accident, and say the truck driver who hit Hull has cooperated from the very beginning.
Hull would have turned 26 on April 26 and was just weeks away from her college graduation at the University.