$10,000 check presented to Cascade Bicycle Club, in memory of Steve Hulsman

SEATTLE — Rita Hulsman is turning the pain of losing her husband of more than 40 years, into purpose. Steve Hulsman was killed back in December of 2023 while out on a bike ride in West Seattle.

“He had gone out for a bicycle ride and when he left he just said you know can you put some food in the oven for me? I’ll eat it when I get home,” Rita said. “It got to be a little later than he said he would be home and I started worrying.” Tragically, Steve never came home. He was hit by an SUV at the intersection of Marine Drive Southwest and 46th Avenue Southwest. Court documents say the driver, Aaron Ludberg, was making a left turn when he crashed into Steve who was riding his bicycle. In the report, Ludberg told police he didn’t see Hulsman until just before impact.

“I got a call from Harborview social worker saying that he was at Harborview and I pretty much knew,” Rita said. “By the time I was there, he was dead.”

Seattle police reported that Ludberg didn’t show any signs of impairment and the officer, “did not find any evidence of criminal driving behavior.” However, Ludberg was driving with a suspended license and is now facing charges with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for driving with a suspended license and operating a motor vehicle without a required ignition interlock. The case was never referred to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

“My understanding is that the driver should not have been driving that day and that’s what makes this so hard,” Rita said. Ludberg is due back in court on May 15, 2024.

Since that tragic day, family and friends have rallied around Rita, raising thousands of dollars to help pay for medical bills. When Rita found out insurance would cover most of that cost, she decided to donate $10,000 to Cascade Bicycle Club.

KIRO 7 was there when Rita presented the check to the club.

“I just wanted to present this check for $10,000 to Cascade Bicycle Club, in memory of my husband,” she said. Cascade is where Rita said her husband got his start with cycling so it was a full-circle moment.

“I’m sorry you have to make this gift but I can promise you we will work to make cycling safer,” Lee Lambert, the executive director of Cascade Bicycle Club, said. The funds will go to making cycling safer around Seattle, something Rita says was a cause near and dear to her husband’s heart.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what my husband went through and I know the work you do will move that along,” she said. “I know that he would support this as well so $10,000 in support of all that Cascade does to make this a better place.”

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