Family and colleagues of a Grossmont College professor killed in a bicycle accident Tuesday are remembering him for the way he thrived in the classroom and on the open road.
Brian Jennings, 58, was riding his mountain bike riding along eastbound Old Highway 80 just after 3 p.m. when a minivan driver fell asleep at the wheel and hit him in the bike lane, the California Highway Patrol said.
Jennings was rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A professor of comparative politics and U.S. Government at Grossmont College, Jennings also participated in faculty leadership roles, according to a statement on his passing released by school president Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Wednesday.
“Professor Jennings was well known among students for his humor, his respect for divergent political opinions,” the statement read in part.
Flowers and a bicycle wheel now sit at the crash site near Soldin Lane in his honor.
“Gentle would be the best way that I could describe him,” coworker and fellow cyclist Agustin Albarran said. “I learned to love the man, I learned a lot from him."
Albarran and Jennings would often go on rides together all over San Diego County backroads, sharing their love for the outdoors. He spent part of his workday Wednesday walking classroom to classroom notifying Professor Jennings' students of his passing.
“Literally within the hour, there were flowers and an outpouring of love, cards, mementos, letters for his family," Albarran said in amazement. “I think that just goes to show what kind of individual he was."
He called it a true testament to all the lives this Jennings touched through the gift of education.
The school will be having a memorial service for Professor Jennings on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m at the college’s Griffin Gate.
The whole community is invited to come and honor his life.