Portland couple die suddenly in freak accident while bicycling in Napa Valley

News & Politics

An Oregon couple died suddenly in a freak accident while they were bicycling in California’s Napa Valley.

Christian and Michelle Deaton, from Portland, went on a bicycle trip in the Napa Valley around 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

A flatbed truck attempted to pass the bicyclists at approximately 40 mph. Lumber in the bed of the 2018 Freightliner shifted and the wood protruded the end of the truck. The lumber reportedly slammed into the married couple of 21 years.

The Napa County Sheriff’s Office said that Christian, 52, died at the scene. Michelle, 48, died later at the hospital.

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Police did not identify the truck driver, only saying he is a 55-year-old from Vallejo. The driver stayed on the scene during the investigation, according to police.

Police have not said whether the truck driver faces any criminal charges.

Family and friends of the slain couple described them as adventurous.

“Life was their hobby – there was never a moment where they weren’t going to make the most of it,” Cholee Thompson – a friend of Michelle – told The Oregonian.

Elizabeth LeMay – a friend of the couple – added, “They shared so much love for each other. They were a couple you come across once in a lifetime.”

“They lived life so big that the hole that they left in all of us is just gaping,” said Cholee Thompson – another friend. “The two of them weren’t perfect, and they always strove to be better. But they really were pretty damn close to perfect.”

“They had been married over 20 years, but they were a couple that it felt like they had always been together. You know, if you believed in past lives, they were probably together in past lives too because they just had this connection,” Thompson said.

Both were executives at Nike.

The couple were reportedly on a two-week vacation with stops in California and Las Vegas.

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