Bicyclist struck by truck, killed in Golden Springs

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Source: http://www.annistonstar.com/view/full_story/18981744/article-Bicyclist-struck-by-truck–killed-in-Golden-Springs?instance=home_lead_story

by Brian Anderson

banderson@annistonstar.com
Jun 14, 2012 | 18393 views |  0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Orange paint left by police investigators mark where debris from a truck fell after it struck a bicyclist this morning. Derek Jensen, the 37-year-old cyclist, was killed in the accident. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)

Orange paint left by police investigators mark where debris from a truck fell after it struck a bicyclist this morning. Derek Jensen, the 37-year-old cyclist, was killed in the accident. (Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star)

Emergency workers block traffic this morning on Golden Springs Road, where a cyclist died after being struck by a car. (Photo: Phillip Tutor/The Anniston Star)

Emergency workers block traffic this morning on Golden Springs Road, where a cyclist died after being struck by a car. (Photo: Phillip Tutor/The Anniston Star)

Derek Jensen

Derek Jensen

Updated at noon.

A vehicle struck and killed a bicyclist on his way to work through Golden Springs this morning, Anniston police said.

Anniston police Sgt. Scott Grissom said Derek Thomas Jensen, 37, of Oxford, was struck by a truck driven by Ethan Norton, 22, of Heflin, around 6:30 a.m. on Golden Springs Road near Harvest Church, between Coleman Road and Greenbrier Dear Road. Two nurses traveling to work stopped and rendered aid on the scene but were unsuccessful, said Calhoun County Coroner Brown. The coroner pronounced him dead at 7:20 a.m.

Jensen, the external affairs director of the Center for Domestic Preparedness at McClellan, was married with three children, Brown said.

Grissom said Norton was interviewed at the scene and told police he was driving his burgundy 2001 Chevrolet Silverado on the inner northbound lane on Golden Springs Road and struck Jensen while merging into the outside lane.

The accident is still under investigation, Grissom said.

News of Jensen’s death spread quickly through the Homeland Security community. Randy Cooper, manager of Utah’s chemical stockpile preparedness program, said he heard about Jensen’s accident from colleagues in Washington, D.C. this morning.

“He was a very conscientious, very safe young man, one of those young men who are driven to succeed,” Cooper said. “He had accomplished so much at 37, and had so much potential to do more.”

Cooper first met Jensen when Jensen left his job as a reporter at The Deseret News to work as a spokesman for Utah’s Department of Homeland Security.

“He was looking for a workplace that provided a more stable environment for his family,” Cooper said.

Cooper and Jensen were neighbors for three years, and even then Jensen was a biker, Cooper said. Jensen later moved to a FEMA office in Denver, where he biked to work daily, Cooper said.

Cooper said Jensen “found his niche” as a Homeland Security spokesman, rising quickly through the ranks to become a spokesman for a major agency, the CDP.

But it wasn’t the first time he found a job he had a knack for. Retired Deseret News city editor Angie Hutchinson said Jensen was one of the “good guys” in her newsroom, covering, among other things, the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart.

“A great reporter and a great person,” she said, describing Jensen. “He was always upbeat even though he was covering crime and courts.”

Former CDP spokeswoman Kathy Wood said Jensen took the CDP job in Anniston so his wife could be closer to her family in Tennessee.

“The CDP is in shock because we’re like a family,” said Wood, who is retired from the center. “It’s a family in mourning right now.”

Star Staff Writer Paige Rentz and Assistant Metro Editor Tim Lockette contributed to this article.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.

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