Homestead - South Dade

Cyclist training for Dolphins Cancer Challenge hit and killed by boat being towed

Bharath “Reddy” Narahari, after his first Miami Marathon in 2017.
Bharath “Reddy” Narahari, after his first Miami Marathon in 2017.

A cyclist training for next month’s Dolphins Cancer Challenge was killed over the weekend when he was hit by a boat being towed by a truck in Southwest Miami-Dade, according to police.

The accident, which left another cyclist injured, happened around 8 a.m. Saturday at Southwest 236th Street and 87th Avenue, not far from Black Point Marina, a popular destination for cyclists.

While police have not named the cyclist, his friends and Baptist Health South Florida, where he worked, identified him as Bharath “Reddy” Narahari. Police said the man killed was 37.

“It is with profound sadness that I must inform all of you that we have lost a member of our IT Family this weekend,” Allen Montgomery, the director of systems and development for Baptist Health, wrote in an email to Baptist’s IT team. “Bharath Reddy Narahari, — Reddy as we all knew him and loved him by — was involved in an accident, which tragically took his life too soon.”

Narahari, who was an active member of Team Hammerheads, a USA Triathlon club, and who trained with Miami’s Go Run Running Club, was described as a “joyous person.”

“He was a beloved member of our group,” said Amy Stone, who is in charge of Team Hammerheads. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by his passing.”

Doug Nicaragua, Narahari’s coach at the running club, said “Reddy” was more than just a team member; he was part of their running family.

“He was the type of person who would encourage everybody,” he said.

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Bharath “Reddy” Narahari finished first in his age group and set a personal record in the Go Run Labor Day 5K 2017. Doug Nicaragua

According to police, two bicyclists were heading south on Galloway Road when “somehow they fell.”

A boat, being towed by a pickup, hit Narahari. It was not clear what injuries the second cyclist sustained. Police said the crash was still under investigation.

The ride was one of several planned for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, which will be held Feb. 10. The Challenge has raised $22.5 million for research being done at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center since it began in 2010. This year’s ride will have more than 1,900 participants.

He was a beloved member of our group.

Amy Stone, in charge of Team Hammerheads

Saturday’s ride began at 7 a.m. at the University of Miami’s Watsco Center, according to the Challenge website. There were three different routes based on distance: One was 53.38 miles, one was 32.67 miles and the third was 18 miles. It was not clear which ride Narahari was on. The program was part of an official training ride for the Challenge.

While the Dolphins Cancer Challenge wouldn’t comment on the details of the crash, it did say: “We are deeply saddened by the accident that caused the sudden and tragic loss of a participant in our training ride Saturday morning. On behalf of the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, we would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”

This is the second time in recent years a cyclist training for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge was hit and killed by a vehicle. In 2015, Walter Reyes, 50, the CFO at the South Florida real-estate firm Keyes Company, was killed in a drunken-driving crash on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

It was just after 5 a.m. Jan. 21, 2015, when Reyes and his friend, lawyer Henry Hernandez, were riding in the bike lane and were struck. The driver, who had been clubbing on South Beach, left the scene, returning after a 911 operator told him to go back to the crash site. Alejandro Alvarez, a University of Maryland student home for break, later accepted a plea deal and served two years in prison, followed by two years of probation.

In addition to training for the Dolphins Cancer Challenge, Narahari was also training for the Miami Marathon, set for Jan. 28.

Nicaragua said that when Narahari first came to the team almost two years ago, his goal was to get in shape. He quickly adopted a healthy lifestyle and managed to shave almost two minutes per mile off his time for a 5K.

“He would be a part of the fastest group and then go back and help everyone else,” Nicaragua said.

Several memorials for Narahari are in the works, including a Go Run team decision to have #AlwaysReddy printed on everyone’s shirt for this year’s Miami Marathon.

And on Thursday, Nicaragua said the team will do something he and “Reddy” did every Thursday after a practice run.

“We will have a pizza and beer in his honor,” he said.