Friends remember retired Wake County teacher who died in cycling incident

Gene Rotberg

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)  – We’re learning more about the cyclist killed after he was struck by a pick-up truck Tuesday.

State Highway Patrol said 66 year old, Gene Rotberg was headed east on NC 98 near Kemp Road Tuesday morning when he was struck and killed.

“The loss is tremendous,” Gary Smith was Rotberg’s good friend.

Authorities have charged the driver of the pick-up, 33 year old, Russell Rutledge.

Smith said Rotberg recently retired from Wake County Public Schools. He was a P.E. teacher at Dillard Drive Elementary School. Since he retired, Smith told us he’d been riding more. He was training to go longer distances.

“He just really enjoyed life and like I said, the type of person you’d like to have around,” Smith said.

State Highway Patrol said speed was not a factor. That it appears Rutledge didn’t stay in his lane. He’s been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

“I’ve been hit four times myself. But from 20 years of racing and all the miles I’ve done, boo boos happen,” Smith said.

Rotberg will be laid to rest Sunday.

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