Memorial for Chula Vista man killed while riding bicycle

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A memorial service was held Saturday for a Chula Vista man who was killed while riding his bike in Santa Maria.

Matthew O'Neill, 33, was on a rural stretch of road when he was struck by a car on Aug. 9.

O'Neill grew up in Chula Vista and was a graduate of Bonita Vista High School. He was currently a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara and was expected to finish next year.

"He would give his life to save others and that's what we're going to do," said O'Neill's mother, Cheri.

His family is encouraging drivers to change a lane when passing a cyclist to ensure there is enough space.

"We want everyone to be safe," she said. "We don't want what happened to our son to happen to someone else."

After the service, attendees walked outside and held up banners that read "Change a lane, save a life."

A state law goes into effect on Sept. 16 that would require drivers to maintain a 3-foot buffer of space between themselves and the cyclists when passing cyclists that are traveling the same direction. If it is not safe, drivers would have to slow down to a reasonable speed and then pass when the cyclists are deemed not in danger.

A memorial ride in honor of O'Neill is scheduled for next Sunday in Ventura.

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