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Highlands: Cyclist killed saving fiancée

Devin Custer and Stephanie Thompson

HIGHLANDS – Devin Custer and his fiancée Stephanie Thompson were on a bicycle ride last Monday night, Oct. 21 around 7 pm on Barbers Hill Road. This was their usual evening routine, on the same road.

In the darkness, a car approached behind them, and struck them, killing Custer. However, he sensed the oncoming vehicle and pushed Thompson aside, saving her life.

They were struck by a 2004 Cadillac Deville driven by Jason Stewart. To date, he has not been charged with any traffic violation, but it is still under investigation by the Sheriff’s office.

Authorities said that Custer’s bike did not have a rear red reflector, nor was he wearing a helmet. Custer’s mother said that he was using the light from a cell-phone to alert drivers that he was on the road, which has two lanes and no shoulder.

Custer’s mother said that the couple was devoted to each other, and planning a wedding next year. She said he was the kind of person that would sacrifice for another. “I just want everyone to know what a good son he was,” she said sobbing.

Custer, 27, had been studying to be a journeyman air conditioning technician, with MLN Company, a mechanical contracting firm.

Custer’s older sister, Noelle Beane, said that “he was a well-known guy. Everyone fell in love with him when they met him. He had his life together and was saving up for his family’s future.”

In 2019 there have been 29 fatal accidents with a cyclist hit by a vehicle. Six of those deaths have been on lighted streets, and five on dark streets without lighting.