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Bicyclist hit, killed on Highway 30 was battling cancer

Hit-and-run claims St. Helens man's life Saturday

RAINIER (KOIN 6) — The wife of a bicyclist hit and killed while riding on Highway 30 just west of Rainier on Saturday, Aug. 30, spoke about her husband, who was battling cancer.

“I loved my husband very much and it was heartbreaking for me: the way that he died and that I wasn’t there,” said Elie Linden.

Peter Linden, 74, died on Saturday afternoon when a driver looked at a text message and drifted onto the shoulder of Highway 30. The driver, Kristopher Woodruff, fled the scene but was stopped by a trooper about five miles down the road.

Elie said her husband was a retired St. Helens city attorney, an avid biker and an affectionate grandfather to three young girls, who are still struggling with his loss, according to Elie.

For several years, Peter had also been battling cancer, and even during times when he was sick from his chemotherapy, Elie said he would find the energy to get on his bike and ride.

In some ways, Elie said Peter’s cancer had prepared her emotionally for his passing.

“But it doesn’t take away from the fact that this young man took my husband’s life and that he ran. I have a real difficulty with that,” said Elie.

Peter had just finished his latest round of chemotherapy when he was struck and killed.

Oregon State Police said their initial investigation indicated Woodruff became distracted while checking a text message on his phone and drifted on to the shoulder of the road.

Woodruff, who lives in Vernonia, now faces first-degree manslaughter, felony hit-and-run and a Washington County misdemeanor for failing to appear.

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