VICTORIA - A 16-year-old Canadian cyclist who collided with a car and was killed during a cancer-fundraising bike ride in Washington state is being remembered by his family as a "talented young athlete" and "gentle soul."
Xavier Pelletier was one of about 2,600 cyclists taking part in the fifth annual Ride to Conquer Cancer between Vancouver and Seattle this past weekend.
Police in Arlington, north of Seattle, say the teen tried to pass a pack of fellow riders but lost control of his bike, veered into oncoming traffic and was hit by a car Sunday morning.
Pelletier was riding in support of his uncle who was a cancer survivor.
Pacific Christian School where Pelletier attended classes publicly acknowledged the death of the Grade 10 student, saying the boy also competed in sailing, volleyball and rugby.
His heartbroken family also issued a statement, thanking those who came to Pelletier's aid and noting nothing more could have been done to save the teen's life.
"At 16 years of age, Xavier was a talented young athlete who died riding in support of his uncle who is a cancer survivor," the statement noted.
"A gentle soul, he was passionate about cycling and cared deeply for his family, friends and community."