A Florida bicyclist, who was killed Monday in a crash near the bridges going into Georgetown, was on one of his regular trips to visit his girlfriend in New Jersey, the woman said Friday.
Adrienne Rasmussen said she is still coping with the death of 43-year-old William “Billy” Carlo Dominguez of Leesburg, Fla., who was known for his extensive bicycle trips across the country and to Alaska.
“This has been an agonizing week for me,” said Rasmussen of Fort Lee, N.J. “I just can’t believe all this. I’m trying to celebrate his life, and I’m trying to honor him. He was an incredible guy.”
Dominguez was the first person killed on a Georgetown County road this year, when he died after a crash with a vehicle early Monday on U.S. 17, according to authorities.
The crash happened about 6:55 a.m. Monday in the northbound lanes of U.S. 17 about 1.3 miles from Georgetown, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.
A 2009 Ford pickup truck and the bicyclist were going north on U.S. 17 when the crash occurred. The driver of the pickup truck was not hurt, Collins said.
Dominguez died from head trauma at 7:30 a.m. Monday while he was being treated at the Georgetown Hospital emergency room, Georgetown County Coroner Kenny Johnson said.
The S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team continued Friday investigating the crash to determine who was at fault, Collins said. It likely will be several weeks before a final report from the investigation is issued.
Rasmussen said the couple became friends about six years ago while living in Detroit and their relationship grew.
“We were planning a life together,” Rasmussen said Friday via telephone, her voice full of emotion. “We were planning to get married someday.”
Rasmussen said Dominguez survived kidney cancer in 2002, which was found after he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle and he was treated for injuries. “It was fate,” she said of the way he described the crash and the cancer discovery.
Dominguez also suffered from epileptic seizures and Asperger syndrome, Rasmussen said.
Dominguez had visited her last year before he returned to Florida to stay with his parents, and on the return trip he had stopped in Myrtle Beach.
“He loved Myrtle Beach,” Rasmussen said.
But the trip on his bicycle from Florida to New Jersey was not his only adventure. Rasmussen said he had rides to every state except Arkansas, which she said had become a joke about his routes always skirting that state.
Dominguez was returning to New Jersey to stay with Rasmussen through March before he rode to the Northwest Territories of Canada this summer, she said. Last year, Dominguez rode to Alaska and during the summer of 2011 he rode to Nova Scotia, she said.
“He did all these bike trips all over the country. He has a lot of friends all over the country,” Rasmussen said. “He was meticulous about how he did his trips. He went to AAA to get his trips mapped out. He had GPS and he would check the weather forecast.”
“On a good day, the way he was biking he could average 100 to 120 miles a day. If the weather wasn’t so good, maybe he would cut it in half,” Rasmussen said. “I know that’s unbelievable, but it’s true.”
Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.