Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven T. Collins, 22, a hospital corpsman, was riding eastbound on Indian Trail at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 6, 1996, when he was hit by a car driven by an 82-year-old Twentynine Palms man who failed to see the bicyclist ahead of him on the road.
The need for improving road safety for bicyclists, especially those commuting to and from the base, was brought to the attention of the City Council following the tragic accident. Since that day, walkways and bicycle paths adjacent to local roadways have been a priority in planned road reconstruction projects throughout the city, including the upcoming Safe Routes to Schools project.
A major component of the current $4.2 million Adobe Road Improvement Project is construction of a two-way bicycle path from the Combat Center’s main gate leading into the downtown area. In a unanimous decision at its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, the Twentynine Palms City Council agreed to name the Adobe Road bicycle path after the late Petty Officer Steven Collins.
According to City Finance Director Ron Peck, fundraisers held by friends of the victim following the accident raised approximately $12,000, which was given to the City to be used for a memorial to Collins.
“With accrued interest, that fund stands at about $15,000 now,” Peck said. “The money will be used for signage and enhancements to the bike path in memory of Collins.”
A dedication for the Collins memorial bike path will be held upon completion of the Adobe Road reconstruction in May.
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