Beloit Man Wants Justice After Wife Killed in Biking Accident


A Beloit man is mourning the loss of his wife while searching for answers, months after a tragic accident took her life.

Deborah Ambrose McDonald died after she was hit by a bicyclist on a sidewalk.

“For the pain that I’m living with, I just don’t anyone to have to go through that,” said Rory McDonald.  “I miss her so much.  Every day is a hard day.  There are no easy days for me.”

Deborah McDonald was leaving Mama Lou’s Shrimp & BBQ when an 18-year-old came biking down the sidewalk and crashed into her.  The impact knocked her to the ground and she hit her head on the pavement.  She later passed away at a hospital.  The biker was only given a citation and a fine.

“That life has to be worth more than $100 fine for killing her.”

McDonald says he’s not looking for closure, he’s looking for resolution.

“Losing my wife hasn’t made any difference, it’s still happening.  Bicyclists are still flying down the sidewalk and people are still walking on the sidewalk.  So, I’m looking for justice for Deb.”

Rod Gettfeldsen, owner of the neighboring Austin’s Barber Shop, took measures into his own hands to prevent accidents.

“I do bring a barber pole that I set outside,” said Gettfeldsen.  “I always used to put it quite a few feet from the front door, but since this happened, I now put it just a foot and a half or two feet away from my door.  That way, if a bicyclist comes down the sidewalk close to the buildings, they have to go around that barber pole.”

He said he looks around more carefully now before stepping out onto the sidewalk and talks to bikers who zoom by.  But, for Rory McDonald, every day is a chance to prevent another tragedy from happening.

“I’m looking for something to make sure that no one ever has to go through this ever, ever again,” said McDonald.

On Thursday, McDonald will meet with the Beloit Police Department, the Rock County District Attorney, and a commissioner to see what can be done to prevent a similar accident.

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