"He Was the Funniest One in the Room," Friends Say about San Jose Teen Killed on Bicycle

By Lisa Fernandez
|  Thursday, Dec 5, 2013  |  Updated 12:03 PM PDT
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A bicyclist died late Tuesday after a collision with a vehicle, according to San Jose police. George Kiriyama reports.

A bicyclist died late Tuesday after a collision with a vehicle, according to San Jose police. George Kiriyama reports.

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About 50 friends and family members gathered Wednesday night to remember 17-year-old Anthony Garcia, a funny and creative teen who was killed the night before when his bicycle collided with an SUV.

"He was the funniest one in the room," a friend named Eric told NBC Bay Area. "We're just here to show our love for Anthony. He was such a great dude."

MORE: San Jose Woman Becomes 24th Pedestrian Killed in 2013

Anthony was San Jose's 40th traffic fatality of 2013, and the 25th vehicle-versus-pedestrian fatality of the year. And his death comes after community members in the Washington neighborhood held a vigil Monday night to remember all the pedestrians killed this year in San Jose.

Garcia was riding his bike just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the area of Vista Park Drive and Branham Lane, when he was struck by a SUV. Police said the driver  remained at the scene and is cooperated with the investigation.

Friends did not really discuss publicly the details of what happened the night Anthony was killed. But his girlfriend of two years, Brianna Rodriguez, 18, told NBC Bay Area that anyone who rides a "fixie" should be really cautious, as should drivers while out on the road.

MORE: Bicylist Dead After Collision With Vehicle

Some say fixies are more dangerous because bikes can't coast, which means the pedals are constantly moving. Still, they are very popular in cities, and with many bike messengers, because they are simple and can maneuver easily.

Young hipsters have been known to ride them without handlebar-mounted brakes, which is both illegal and dangerous.

San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol confirmed Thursday that Anthony was riding a fixie bike, but she would not release any more details citing the ongoing investigation.

A fixie is a fixed-gear bicycle that has a "drivetrain" with no freewheel mechanism. It's quite popular in cities.  A drivetrain has the drive sprocket, or cog, threaded or bolted directly to the hub of the back wheel, so that the rider cannot stop pedaling.

She described Anthony as someone who loved drawing and playing the part of DJ at parties.

"I love him very much," she said through tears. "It breaks my heart that he was taken at such a young age."

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