Thanksgiving takes tragic turn for local cyclist |

Thanksgiving takes tragic turn for local cyclist

Caroline Kingsley, The Park Record

Eric Krepela, 49, of Midway, passed away Thanksgiving afternoon while cycling in Dutch Canyon.

"It’s a very sad and tragic incident," Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jared Rigby said.

Krepela left home around 2 p.m. to ride his mountain bike along a Midway trail near Interlaken, but never returned home, according to Rigby.

When he did not return within the expected timeframe, family members who were gathered for Thanksgiving dinner began to search for him. They found him on the trail about 6 p.m. that same evening. When found, Krepela had no pulse and was not breathing.

The Wasatch County Dispatch Center, was summoned and sent deputies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel to the scene to attempt resuscitation.

The cause of death has not officially been determined but according to the sheriff’s report, preliminary analysis indicated Krepela crashed his bike on a downhill section of the trail and hit his head.

"The dirt wasn’t muddy, but it was wet," Rigby said. "It seemed like he probably lost traction."

Kepela who is well known among local mountain bike racers recently competed in the 24 Hours of Moab event.

He was a noted woodworker who specialized in designing displays for outdoor equipment companies. Krepela was a production Director for Atmosphere Studios, a Salt Lake City based company that has won awards for displays at events including Outdoor Retailer.

According to his family, Krepela was born in California and moved to Utah to attend college. Heended up in Park City among the mountains where he loved to ski and mountain bike.

Krepela is survived by his wife Anne Marie Maierle Krepela and their daughters Sophia and Olivia of Midway, his former wife DeAnne Downing and their children Khai and Kyra of Park City and his sisters Glena Hale and Vicki Openshaw both of Modesto, California.

There will be a memorial service at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Lodge this Saturday, Dec.1, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. The family has asked friends to bring mementos his life to share with them.

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