BEND, Ore. - An afternoon bike ride turned tragic for the Central Oregon cycling community as they lost one of their own in a deadly crash this past weekend.
Marika Stone, a 38-year-old Bend resident, went on a bike ride Saturday afternoon through Central Oregon with two other cyclists, Carrie Carney and her partner, Bruce Rogers.
Carney told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday that Stone was a little hesitant to go because she had other things to complete, but ultimately decided to join the ride.
Rogers didn't want to go on camera but emailed NewsChannel 21, saying Stone was in a good place before tragedy struck.
"As we passed by Brasada Ranch, she was reflecting on her twin sister's wedding and how much fun it was," Rogers wrote.
Rogers said Stone was a very accomplished athlete and they were talking about the upcoming Pole Pedal Paddle competition.
According to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, the three riders were riding toward the west, single-file, on Dodds Road east of Bend, approaching a soft corner of the road when a pickup heading east crossed the oncoming lane and hit Stone. The alleged drunk driver missed Carney and Rogers.
Stone was pronounced dead at the scene.
Carney said she had to break the news to Stone's twin sister, which was one of the hardest calls she's ever had to make in her life.
"Those are the things you see in the movies, I guess, you think you'll never have to do. And what Bruce and I saw on the side of the road, we can't get out that out of our heads," Carney said.
Stone was a dentist at Mill Point Dental Center in Bend and the mother of two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl.
Last year, Stone joined the Sunnyside Sports Race team and was very active in participating in Tour De Chutes every year.
Last April, she participated in the Sea Otter Classic cycling race in Monterey, California, where she placed first in her age class.
Ryan Levering, a friend of Stone, said she was so happy to have competed and placed in the classic.
Stone's friends said they are now hoping to share a message to drivers when it comes to sharing the road with bicyclists.
Anne Linton, who also is part of the Sunnyside Sports race team, said motorists need to be alert while on the road.
"Cars need to be aware for everyone, but especially bicyclists," she said. "Get off your cellphones, you know, when you're driving. Drive your car, focus. Give the lane to the cyclist, and when you see a cyclist, again, realize they do have the right to the road. Rather than get mad, acknowledge it and pass nicely."
Linton said bicyclists tend to follow the rules of the road, and Stone did everything correctly.
"It has nothing to do with anything but a woman, drunk driver, out of control who came off the side of the road," she said. "There's nothing you could have done."
According to investigators, Shantell Witt, 41, was under the influence of alcohol when she struck Stone. She was released on bail on Sunday and is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 16.
Blair Struble, a Bend orthodontist, said Mill Point Dental Center was closed Tuesday and will remain so Wednesday but will reopen later this week.
Struble said local dentists will step in to provide excellent service to Stone's patients.
Family and friends, meanwhile, are working at possibly organizing a race or memorial shrine in Stone's honor.
"I miss her. I miss her so much already," Carney said. "And the pain I have to see her sister go through, and her family and loved ones."