Poway Man Killed, YMCA Exec Hurt in Bike Path Crash

By Tony Shin and R. Stickney
|  Monday, Jun 6, 2011  |  Updated 6:52 AM PDT
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A Poway man and a YMCA executive were cycling on a North County bike path when they were struck by an out-of-control vehicle Tuesday. Tony Shin reports.

A Poway man and a YMCA executive were cycling on a North County bike path when they were struck by an out-of-control vehicle Tuesday. Tony Shin reports.

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A Poway man and a Y.M.C.A. executive were cycling on a North County bike path when they were struck by an out-of-control vehicle on Tuesday. 

Nick Venuto, 40, of Poway and Baron Herdelin-Doherty, 51, of Solana Beach did not know each other but just happened to be riding along State Route 56 when a Ford Escape veered off the road, up an embankment and plowed through a chain-linked fence.

Venuto, a husband and father to a 12-year old son and 7-year old daughter, was killed. He worked at a local company, called Sapphire Energy. On Wednesday, family members and friends gathered at his home near Espola Road to comfort his widow and two children.

Meanwhile, Herdelin-Doherty was severely injured in the crash. He suffered multiple fractures, including two broken hips and is recovering at Scripps Memorial La Jolla Hospital.

"Baron is an incredible human being , he is full of energy, he is full of compassion,"said Shelly McTighe-Rippengale, Senior Vice President of Development and Communications for the San Diego County Y.M.C.A.

Herdelin-Doherty became President and CEO of the local "Y" last October after moving from San Antonio, Texas with his wife. 

"Baron's actually been a part of the Y.M.C.A. movement for the past 26 years,"McTighe-Rippengale said.

She also said Herdelin-Doherty and his wife have a 19-year old son who is a track star at a college in Texas.

Investigators said the driver steered too hard during a lane change and lost control of the SUV.

The driver, Sheena Saranita, 27, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital, according to the CHP.  Investigators said it didn't appear drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

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