Lake Orion bicyclist dies after being struck by car

Lake Orion bicyclist dies after being struck by car

From - The Oakland Press


After Ralph Finneren of Lake Orion retired from working as a pipefitter after more than 30 years at General Motors, he began teaching part-time at Macomb Community College.

“He had had a blue-collar job but he was an extremely intellectual man,” said his son Rory, 29.

Mr. Finneren is being remembered by his family after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle Wednesday, July 27. He died after the accident. Mr. Finneren was 58.

The crash occurred on the 4500 block of Giddings Road south of Liberty Court about 5:41 p.m. Wednesday, according to Oakland County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Orion Township substation deputies said Mr. Finneren was operating a Trek bicycle northbound on Giddings Road.

A 28-year-old Clio man was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am northbound on Giddings south of the bicycle. The Clio man stated that he never saw the bicycle and struck it with his vehicle.

Mr. Finneren sustained serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to POH Regional Medical Center, where he died of his injuries.

An Orion Township driver who did not wish to give her name said she was first at the scene.

“The only thing I could do was pray over him,” she said.

The woman, who had been driving to church, said she was terribly shaken from the incident.

Mr. Finneren was wearing a helmet. The driver of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt. Alcohol use does not appear to be a factor in the crash.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office said that Finneren died from multiple blunt force injuries. The crash remains under investigation.

Rory Finneren said his father grew up in the Birmingham area and graduated from Seaholm High School in 1971. Mr. Finneren had a master’s degree in Chinese history with a minor in African history.

“He was a very avid sailor and owned sailboats all his life,” said Rory, who lives and works in Washington, D.C.

The family enjoyed living in Michigan and have a cabin in East Tawas.

Mr. Finneren married Judith Miller in 1974 and the couple had Rory and Holli, 24, who is attending graduate school in Washington, D.C.

After working at GM at Pontiac East Assembly, Mr. Finneren retired in 2009. He began his teaching career after retirement and also drove a truck for an auto parts company part-time.

He was riding his bicycle home from that job when he was struck, said Rory.

“He’d been cycling since the 1970s,” said Rory.

He was also a runner who enjoyed taking part in races.

Mr. Finneren “loved going out on Lake Orion,” said Rory, noting that his father had also begun kayaking and renting kayaks.

“He’d recently lost a lot of weight and was really doing well.”

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

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