By any measure, 19 year old Eric Okerblom was a remarkable man. While still in high school he had already developed as an artist and a musician, earned seven varsity letters, and was a National Merit Finalist. In a single weekend he both ran the LA Marathon (without training) and presented his original research at a youth scientific symposium. He dabbled in beekeeping, was intrigued by carnivorous plants, loved mountains, enjoyed photography, and rocketed on a snowboard. Eric was wise, gentle, sensitive, and genuine; a quiet leader who was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by his senior class. Despite all of his gifts, Eric was humble and grateful. Eric was the rare, enlightened person you would want for a friend. In the summer of 2009, Eric studied and traveled in Nicaragua with his life's love, Holly. Soon he would return to the University of California at Berkeley to resume his studies in Molecular Biology. He was very committed to improving this world. The Tour de France had just ended and Eric became enamored with cycling. He was intent on joining the Cal cycling team in the fall. On July 25, 2009, Eric was bicycling on a straight, unobstructed, country road. Although visible for hundreds of yards, he was violently struck and killed by a distracted teenage driver who neither swerved nor braked. Subsequent subpoena of phone records revealed driver texting had occurred in the immediate proximity of the collision. This beautiful life was extinguished and our family and community diminished from entirely unnecessary diver distraction.
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