news Update on West Marin Bicycling Death

Two-and-a-half weeks since San Geronimo resident and Dixie Elementary teacher Debra DiBenedetto was hit and killed while bicycling on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near Woodacre, we have little to report, pending toxicology results.

The driver, 24 year-old Paula Drake of Fairfax, was booked into Marin County Jail the night of the collision on one count each of felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and felony DUI. However, without toxicology results–and thus, charges–the prosecutors had to release Drake after 48 hours. Results are expected soon.

DiBenedetto, who started Dixie’s outdoor education program, was described in her obituary as an “innovative educator who cared deeply about all her students.”

“She was passionate about nature and found peace outside. She loved camping, biking, hiking and time at the beach.”

MCBC conveys its deepest condolences to Ms. DiBenedetto’s family and friends, and the Dixie Elementary community. We have reached out to the family and school about finding a way to pay our respects and will follow-up with the MCBC community if and when plans are made.

MCBC’s October 30 Statement on Ms. DiBenedetto’s Death

Marin County Bicycle Coalition is deeply saddened to learn that San Geronimo resident Debra DiBenedetto was hit and killed by a motorist on Monday, October 29 while riding her bike on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near Woodacre.

Known as “Ms. Deebee” by her students, Debra was a second grade teacher at Dixie Elementary in San Rafael. The school described her as a beloved member of their community, with a deep commitment to the children she taught and a passion for the natural environment.

At this point, law enforcement is still collecting information and sorting through the details. We are asking the MCBC community to remain patient as it does its job. MCBC will be tracking this process in the coming days.

This incident is a tragic reminder of just how fragile life truly is. As parents, children, siblings, community members, and, yes, bicyclists, we’re all just seeking to live meaningful lives. Debra DiBenedetto’s life was cut short, with many others’ forever changed.

Once again, MCBC wishes to convey its deepest condolences to Debra’s family and friends, and the Dixie Elementary community.

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