• Tue September 13 2005
  • Posted Sep 13, 2005
Victim Brian Shaver's bicycle is found 16 miles from where his body lay, police say. By TOM ALEX REGISTER STAFF WRITER September 13, 2005 The sky was still dark when Sheryl Shaver began to search for her husband. Pre-dawn bicycle rides were part of Brian Shaver's routine. But on Sunday morning, he did not come home. "I expected him back, and when he didn't return I rode his route," Sheryl Shaver said Monday. "I couldn't find him broken down, which is what I expected at first." Donald "Brian" Shaver, 45, planned to squeeze in one more ride before he and his wife headed for Arizona. It was supposed to be a working vacation, and the Shavers, as usual, planned to bring their bikes. Shaver died late Sunday from injuries suffered when he apparently was struck by a hit-and-run vehicle in the 4200 block of Northeast 94th Avenue. Polk County sheriff's investigators Monday said a "guilt-ridden" Jasper County man, through his attorney, has said that he drove the car. The man's name was not made public. No arrest has been made. A passing motorist found Shaver critically injured. He was still wearing his safety helmet. The bicycle, equipped with lights, was gone. Sheriff's deputies found it in a creek bed about 16 miles from the crash site. "We believe the bike was purposefully taken from the scene," rather than dragged away under the vehicle that struck Shaver, sheriff's spokesman Neil Shultz said. Sheryl Shaver said, "That was really, really hard for me at first, that his bike wasn't there." Early morning workouts were nothing new for Brian Shaver. He was a runner until his knees failed him. Bob Breedlove, a Des Moines surgeon and ultra-marathoner, did the surgery, and Shaver turned to bicycles for exercise. He recently completed the Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa for the third time. Breedlove was killed June 23 when his bike collided with a vehicle during the Race Across America. Leanne Stueck, store manager for Bike Country in Ankeny, said Shaver bought his 19-inch, dark blue Fuji Royale in April. He was on a first-name basis with the folks at the shop and had stopped in the Friday before his death. "He went to different parts of the country, and he took his bike with him," she said. "When he had free time or down time, he found places to ride his bike." Another employee of the bike shop said Shaver always used lights on his bike when riding in the dark. Shaver struck out on his own after nearly two decades in the moving business and opened Shaver Relocation Services about nine years ago with a shiny teal cab and matching 42-foot trailer. His business plan was simple: "I am picky about my own stuff," he told a reporter when he started the business. "Why wouldn't I be careful with someone else's stuff?" The Shavers were planning to leave for Scottsdale at 7 a.m. Sunday. There was a business conference to attend, but there would be time for bicycle rides. "He usually rode before work," Sheryl Shaver said. "Whenever he could squeeze a ride in, he tried to do that. It's just very overwhelming right now. Unexpected. It's a loss of a super person. "I hope they find out who did it. I'd at least like to find out what happened. The more information you have, I think, the better you are able to deal with it." Officials would not show Shaver's bicycle to reporters on Monday. They said it had rear-end damage. The car involved in the crash reportedly has a broken windshield. Chief Hampel said more questions will be answered today. No charges have been filed against the man who said he was driving.

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