Victim and driver in San Diego street sweeper death identified; it just gets sadder

I often complain about the lack of information about bicycle collisions.

Usually, we’re lucky if the story merits a few paragraph’s in the paper. A bare description that a motor vehicle hit a cyclist, or the other way around; maybe the name of the victim and the driver. Sometimes not even that.

Then there are times when the press does its job, and we learn about the victim and the driver.

Too often, it just makes the whole story that much more tragic.

That’s what happened today in the sad, infuriating case of a San Diego cyclist killed when the driver of a street sweeper fell asleep behind the wheel last Friday.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the victim, Suntat Peverley, was a lab tech who had worked for UCSD Medical Center for the past 10 years. A popular lead phlebotomist with the Internal Medicine Group, he leaves behind a wife and two children.

Meanwhile, 77-year old Fred Franklin Fuller wasn’t just the driver of the street sweeper, he also owned the company. After sweeping parking lots for 33 years, he’d turned the business over to his son, but started driving again after his son died just three weeks ago. Tragically, Fuller’s wife also died about the same time.

Not surprisingly, he told police investigators that he hadn’t been sleeping well lately.

Fuller shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. Not at his age. Not in his physical condition. Not in his emotional state, after suffering two tragic loses so recently.

Maybe he thought working would ease the pain and give him something to do; maybe he felt like he didn’t have any choice.

There seems to be no question that he was at fault. The only question is what the consequences will be, whether he’ll be charged, and if he will be able to live with what he’s done after suffering so much tragedy already.

We know what the consequences were for Peverley. His wife will have to go on without the love and support of her husband. His children will grow up without a father.

This whole case is just too heartbreaking for words.

Sometimes, I really wish I didn’t know the details.

6 comments

  1. Jared says:

    Dang, that whole situation turned out to suck even worse than it seemed initially (which was pretty crappy to begin with).

  2. Ken L. says:

    I saw Sunny the night before he was killed, we have been friends for years. His wife and kids are fantastic people, and he was one of the best dads I know. He was a happy, laughing, warm individual that made everyone around him a better person. he was the type of guy everyone wished they could be.

    He loved cycling and was very good at it. He and his wife had just finished designing the kit (outfits) for the San Diego Cyclo-Vets. I was very proud of him.

    When I heard of what happened from another cycling friend I was very angry and shocked. This morning I read in the SD Union Tribune about Mr. Fuller and what he has gone through in the last few weeks, the loss he has endured and how devastating that must have been.

    And now this.

    I will miss Sunny every day. I am sorry for this whole incident. I feel bad for Mr. Fuller too.

    There is no silver lining for anyone in this story.

    Maybe, just maybe, in the future if you see a cyclist, give him or her an inch or two extra clearance, a smile and a wave. Think of Sunny and think a good thought for his family and friends.

  3. fred Landis says:

    the truck driver can be logicaly connected to 3 deaths in 3 weeks,this needs more research before we feel sorry for the driver.the driver’s son was the head of the co when he died,how much did the father receive in insurance?

  4. Russell Peverley says:

    I’m Rusty Peverley, Suntat’s brother. It’s been over a year since my brother was killed and here I find myself searching the web for mention of his name. I still don’t fully comprehend that he’s no longer with me. He was the greatest brother one could have. He was the greatest uncle my children could have. I still pray to him every night. Rest easy my brother!

    • bikinginla says:

      Hi Rusty. Please accept my deepest sympathy on the death of your brother.

      In my experience, the first year is the hardest. The sense of loss never goes away, but the pain eases with time; eventually, you’ll remember your brother with a smile rather than tears.

      While I try to remember all those Southern California cyclists who’ve died while riding their bikes, Suntat’s death is one that sticks with me. It was such a random, horribly tragic event. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one + seventeen =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: