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Auburn man dies in one-car accident

By: Penne Usher, Journal Staff Writer
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Law enforcement officials Monday were piecing together information on an accident that claimed the life of a 37-year-old Auburn man described by friends as an avid cyclist and music lover. The body of Thomas Reed was found in his 1985 Toyota 4Runner about 50 feet down an embankment off Yankee Jim's Road near Colfax Saturday evening, officials said. Reed was the only occupant of the vehicle. We have no witnesses and really don't have a timeline on what happened, said Kelly Baraga, spokeswoman for the Newcastle office of the California Highway Patrol. She said responding officers believe the incident occurred sometime Friday night. Paul Dickson said he's known Reed for about six years. The two share a passion for cycling. The first time we were going out for a night ride and getting our lights ready and he and his daughter were coming off the trail, Dickson said. He saw us and said, ˜I've got to get to know you guys.' The guys enjoy riding their mountain bikes along trail in the American River Canyon at night. Kevin Hurley, of Rocklin, said Monday afternoon that his two-wheeling friend loved living in Auburn. He grew up in Southern California and found his way north, Hurley said. I met him a few years ago. It was all about bicycles. Hurley said Reed enjoyed riding his road and mountain bikes. I spent most of my time with him pedaling uphill, Hurley said. Reed had a large group of friends who echoed Hurley's sentiments. We met him in the confluence about six years ago I think, and he has been a close friend ever since, said Auburn's Keith Kenworthy. He was a serious rider. When not on two wheels, Reed, reportedly enjoyed a wide range of music. We both shared a love of Dave Matthews Band, Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Radiohead and many other bands, Kenworthy said. He had a very wide range of musical taste. Reed leaves behind his teen-age daughter, Akayla, and many unanswered questions. Friends who visited the crash site Monday afternoon wondered whether car trouble had played a part in Reed's fatal accident. He told me that he was having transmission problems. Hurley said. I don't know if that was a factor in the crash or not. That's a question his friends are asking and we'd like that to be investigated. What is sure to Reed's close friends, however, is how he felt about his daughter. She was very special to him, Dickson said. He's going to be missed. Funeral arrangements for Reed had not been confirmed as of press time Monday. The Journal's Penne Usher can be reached at penneu@goldcountrymedia.com or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.