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Family grieving loss of son, killed while riding his bike

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Updated: 6/17/2013 6:26 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's Father's Day news no dad ever wants to receive.

"As a parent, you always want to go first," said John Dougherty.

Dougherty tells Action News his son, also named John, was headed home from work on his bicycle. It's a route he traveled often. When he didn't show up, his family went looking for him. What they came upon was a crime scene.  

"We saw the taped off area and um ... we saw a bike," said his sister Suzanne Winkler. 

His other sister, Kathleen Klingaman added, "I turned to Suzanne and I said, 'Are you sure it was John?' And she said, 'I'm pretty sure why?' and I said, 'Because there's a sheet over there' and I knew." 

He was riding on the sidewalk and was almost home when police say a speeding SUV driven by Lee Bond, 29, somehow went off the road. The vehicle struck Dougherty and smashed into a wall. Dougherty was killed instantly. The driver of the SUV was injured. 

"He always just said you know when it's my time, it's my time. Don't cry. And celebrate me. And have a party. And that's what we'll do," said Winkler. 

Funny, kind, could make anyone laugh. The family said those are the reasons this brother was so loved. And that is the memory that will never fade. No matter how much time goes by.  

"He was my best friend. He was just a guy. He was just our best friend; I can't tell you how many people he touched and knew," John Dougherty said. 

There is a growing memorial at the scene Monday night.  Bond is still at UF Health in critical condition. Police said traffic homicide is still investigating to figure out if Bond will face charges.
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