Bakery co-workers mourn cyclist hit by train

Credit: Ellie Griffin, NatureBake

Bakery co-workers mourn cyclist hit by train

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by Michael Rollins, KGW staff

kgw.com

Posted on September 21, 2010 at 7:04 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 21 at 8:52 PM

MILWAUKIE, Ore. – A bicyclist was struck by a train and killed about 9:30 Monday night.

Witnesses told police that Kenneth Kevin Van Loo, 48, pedaled around a safety gate and appeared to try and beat the train.
 

The train was heading to Eugene from Seattle and he was struck at SE Oak and Campbell.

Amtrak sent the crew home after the accident and the passengers were shuttled in vans. The death remains under investigation.

He worked at Dave's Killer Bread in Milwaukie. Owner Dave Dahl posted a eulogy for him this morning on the company's Facebook page.

Last night, we lost a great employee, and an even better human being, Ken Van Lou. Ken was riding his bike after presumably attending an AA meeting after his shift yesterday. Ken was a man with a similar past to my own who had turned his life around and was a star employee in our bread packaging department. I'm very sad today. Rest in Peace, my friend. - Dave

 Dahl's life was one of depression, drug abuse and crime before he launched what is now a popular brand of bread products.

The comments from Facebook friends echoed Dahl's sense of loss. Among the remembrances was this post.

Condolences to you, Dave, and to Ken's family. You never know when something like this is going to happen. I am glad, at least, that it occurred on his way back from doing the right thing - coming home from an AA mtg after working at DKB for a boss that had turned his life around, too. He died while he was on the right path (literally). He will rest in peace.

In a later comment on his own post, Dahl said he declines to speculate as to the specific manner or reasons for the death, and that his company would take care of services.

"The only thing I know for sure is that he was a humble, kind, and productive employee."

"It shook us to the core," co-worker Tim Fuller told KGW. "He's a founding father of the wrap room. When it comes down to get busy, he's the guy we go to."

Bakery vice-president Shobi Dahl acknowledged Van Loo's background, but welcomed him into the company. "Here, one of our beliefs is giving second chances," Shobi Dahl said.

Wednesday would have been Van Loo's 49th birthday.

KGW Reporter Anne Yeager contributed to this report

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