By Henry Adderley
© Copyright by The Royal Gazette Ltd
Bermuda, October 2, 1998
Friends of a young woman who died in a head-on bike crash early Sunday morning have appealed for the Island's roads to be
And through the leader of their group, Professor Chris Bridges, Dusseldorf University students Markus Esser, Rosario Paciello, Michael Gombert, Frank Fischer, Thorsten Kisters and Melanie Marx also thanked the people who gave them help and sympathy after they lost one of their own.
In a letter written by Prof. Bridges, the six asked that Catrin Schaefer's death not be in vain.
"We wrote the letter in the hope that if Catrin's death can bring anything about, it will help to ensure that she will be the last person in Bermuda to die in this way," said Prof. Bridges. The letter added: "If Catrin's death is not to be in vain, may we appeal to your politicians and law-makers to try and make this Island safer for innocent people, like Catrin, who came to enjoy the wonders of the marine life of this island but found death on the roads of Bermuda.
"How many more parents must meet just the suitcases with the belongings of their daughter who left them at the same airport with joy in her heart at exploring new horizons a week previously?
"We hope that all Bermudians will look into their hearts and ask themselves how can we stop this madness?"
Prof. Bridges, who was set to fly out with Catrin's body and belongings last night, noted that he would see Catrin's parents today in Germany.
"That will be very hard because I shook the father's hand when he brought Catrin to the airport and I will have to explain to them what happened."
The 23-year-old Dusseldorf University student had spent seven days on the Island at the Bermuda Biological Station on a work study programme.
She was due to return home on Sunday but became the 12th person to die on Bermuda's roads this year when her rental bike collided with a car at 1 a.m. Sunday on Kindley Field Road.
The 31-year-old St. George's man who was driving the car has since been questioned by Police.
The group called on witnesses to the crash to come forward.
"May we ask all of you who were present on that fatal night at the scene of the accident to come forward and help the Police with their inquiries." The Biological Station held a special memorial service to honour Catrin and her friends planted a Bermuda Cedar in her honour.
"We may leave in sorrow," wrote the group, "but with the hope that as the Bermuda Cedar grows, which we planted in the garden outside the Biological Station where Catrin spent many happy hours, that she will not be forgotten in your hearts and rest assured that the people of Bermuda and the Islands will remain forever in ours." They thanked King Edward VII Memorial Hospital staff, the Police and Biological Station staff, students and visitors for their enormous support and comfort.
"We will return to Dusseldorf with Catrin's remains and her belongings and also with the warm wishes and sympathy of the sane people of Bermuda."
"It has been a very hard time for us all, but the response and sympathy from the community has been absolutely marvellous," said Prof. Bridges.