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Originally published Friday, February 6, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Vigil mourns bicyclist in fatal Ballard accident

Across the street from where 39-year-old avid bicyclist Kevin Daniel Black was fatally injured, grieving and tearful family members, friends and riding enthusiasts gathered for a vigil Thursday evening around a makeshift shrine of flowers and candles.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Across the street from where 39-year-old avid bicyclist Kevin Daniel Black was fatally injured, grieving and tearful family members, friends and riding enthusiasts gathered for a vigil Thursday evening around a makeshift shrine of flowers and candles.

Tacked to a wooden utility pole nearby were notes left by loved ones, and one of Black's bicycle-club racing jerseys.

"He would have loved to have been here to witness this," said Black's brother, Bryan, who with his family flew from Austin just hours after receiving word of the traffic accident.

Kevin Black, a University of Washington molecular neurobiologist who researched molecules that produce electrical signals in the brain, was struck by a van just before 9 a.m. Wednesday on 24th Avenue Northwest near Northwest 64th Street in north Ballard. Police said he was attempting to pass the van on the left when it turned. Black suffered multiple injuries and died later in Harborview Medical Center.

"He was the most incredible human being you'd ever want to know," said his brother, also an avid bicyclist.

Kevin was kind and compassionate, a role model for others, and a dedicated dad for his two daughters, Megan, 13, and Emily, 10, Black said.

Bryan Black, riding his brother's bike, was at the front of a procession of more than two dozen bicyclists who made a quick memorial ride Thursday evening from the vigil site down Northwest 24th Street and on past Ballard's Sunset Park and back.

Kevin Black's daughters were at the front of the procession of riders, too, as was his former wife, Michele.

The accident was not the first for the family. Last summer, Bryan Black was struck by a truck and thrown over its hood while riding in Austin.

"It's pretty terrible to be hit twice in the same family," said Bryan Black's wife, Suzanne.

Within 12 hours of receiving word of the accident, eight family members had arrived in Seattle from various parts of the country, including Black's parents from Riverside, Calif., and a sister from Chandler, Ariz. Other family members are on their way, Suzanne Black said.

A close friend and Ballard neighbor, Dave Rider, said Kevin Black was a longtime member of Alki Rubicon Racing, a club of more than two dozen bicyclists and racers.

"There was a reciprocal care that came out every pore of his body," said Rider. "He was just a great guy."

Charles E. Brown: 206-464-2206 or cbrown@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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