Riders remember fellow bicyclist killed in crash

Published: Oct. 1, 2016 at 6:36 PM CDT
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The Springfield cycling community is remembering a cyclist who died this week after being hit by a truck.

Jeff Potts was on his way to work at KY3 when he was hit in the intersection of Kansas Expressway and Bennett Street.

A memorial ride in honor of Jeff began at the Ewing Sports Complex parking lot. They then rode to the spot where Jeff was hit. The ride was less than a mile.

The organizer of the ride, Keith Donaldson, says even though many of the riders didn't know Jeff personally, the cycling community is a family. They wanted to show support and send a reminder to all drivers and cyclists.

"We come together when one of us is fallen and we get an old bike, painted white and then the idea is to place it at the intersection where the rider died as a reminder to both motorists and cyclists about the dangers of being out there," Donaldson said. "The cycling community comes together when one of us has fallen."

The symbolic "ghost bike" was rolled alongside Springfield cyclists to the site of the accident.

"It brings a tear to my eye because I know he touched everybody in their own way," Potts' friend Josh Mortimer said.

"I'd never heard his name before. I just knew that a cyclist went down," Donaldson said.

Many of the cyclists were strangers to Jeff, but Donaldson says it's all about honoring a fellow rider.

"Life is so fragile," Donaldson said.

Jeff leaves behind a wife and young daughter. A close friend calls him a "family man."

"He truly exemplifies what a man is, he'd sacrifice anything for his family, he would do anything for anybody," Mortimer said.

Those who worked alongside Jeff at KY3 attest to Jeff's hardworking attitude and gentle spirit.

"Probably one of the most laid back people you'd ever know but at the same time, just such a hard worker and loyal friend," Daniel Brown said.

Jeff spent many hours keeping KY3 on the air.

"He was kind of the Sherlock Holmes of KY3," Quentin Coggin said.

Jeff worked with Coggin and Brown in master control, a room that is manned 24/7.

"[He was] one of the most meticulous master control operators we've had and we are going to miss him," Brown said.

At the station, Jeff was known affectionately by his nickname.

"A lot of people called him Pottsy, I guess from Happy Days," Coggin said.

Whether it was inside or outside of work, friends say, Pottsy's loyal and honest character, contagious laughter, and humble kindness touched everyone.

"Sadly, until someone is gone you don't really realize how much they've impacted the community and where they work but everyone has nothing but everyone has nothing but good things to say about Jeff," Coggin said.

Jeff's visitation will be held Wednesday from 6 to 8pm at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. The memorial service will be held Thursday at 1pm at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.