Community mourns Upstate teacher killed in crash

Jeff Pierce (Photo provided)

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – The community is mourning the loss of a Spartanburg County teacher killed during a bike ride.

Jeffrey Pierce, 53, died Tuesday morning after a driver hit him from behind, throwing him off of his bicycle, troopers say. The crash happened on New Cut Road in Inman. Pierce died at the scene.

Pierce was a teacher at Inman Intermediate School. The avid bicyclist also volunteered at Hope Remains Youth Ranch in Wellford.

“It was extremely hard, still very hard for the staff and volunteers today,” said Melanie Watt, founder of Hope Remains Youth Ranch.

Bradley Barnes, who works at Trek Bicycle Store in Spartanburg, was a friend of Pierce and often rode together.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Barnes said. “Words can’t express how that makes you feel.”

South Carolina has had 42 bicycle-related fatalities since 2015.

According to an obituary, Pierce leaves behind a wife and two sons. A memorial service to celebrate his life will start at 3 p.m. Friday at First Baptist North Spartanburg where he was an active member.

The crash remains under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Trooper Joe Hovis said charges are pending in the crash.

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