Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In Memoriam: William Neal

William "Willie" Neal was the youngest of 18 Wyoming delegates to last summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver. A skier and biathlete, he was an enthusiastic participant in both the state convention in Jackson in May 2008 and at the big show in Denver.

But this sad news came over the wires yesterday:

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine -- Police are investigating an accident that killed a Wyoming biathlete while he was roller-skiing on a northern Maine road.

Police told WCXU-FM that 20-year-old William Neal of Jackson was training with a friend in Fort Fairfield at 8:30 p.m. Sunday when he was struck by a vehicle driven by 18-year-old Eric Lunquist of Fort Fairfield.

Police Chief Joseph Bubar said the cause is under investigation, but that alcohol is not believed to have been involved.

Officials said Neal and his training companion were associated with the Nordic Heritage Ski Center, a training center in Presque Isle for biathletes. The biathlon is a winter sport that combines Nordic skiing and rifle marksmanship.

Willie interned for U.S. Sen. John Kerry this past spring. While there he worked on environmental issues. Neal was also the founder of “Cookies 4 Climate Change,” a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote awareness and activism among youth about the dangers of climate change, and to be an organization that makes the transition into a more environmentally friendly lifestyle more financially feasible.”

We'll miss you, Willie. You were an inspiration to all of us. We send our condolences to your family and friends.


Anonymous said...

So sorry that this accident cased willie to loose if life. He is now in his father arms looking down at us all.

My prayers go out to his family and friends.

Lisa peitz

Michael Shay said...