Teacher at school for autistic children killed in Petaluma crash
A Rohnert Park motorcyclist killed Monday on Highway 101 when he was run over by a big rig was on his way to work in Marin County, where he taught autistic children, CHP officials said.
A co-worker confirmed Wednesday that Lucas Frederick Gallanty, 31, worked at the Anova Center for Education campus in San Rafael. She referred questions to the school director, who declined to comment.
Authorities said Gallanty had been speeding in the southbound carpool lane when he hit slowed traffic around 7 a.m. near Petaluma and tried to switch lanes, clipping a sport utility vehicle in the middle lane of the highway. He was thrown from his sport bike into the slow lane, where the tractor-trailer ran over him.
Gallanty died at the scene.
Santa Rosa resident Jessica Mann came upon the accident as she was heading to work at Local Heroes Auto Service in Petaluma, where she said she has received lots of support from the owner and co-workers after witnessing the horrific crash.
Afraid someone would run over Gallanty’s body, she pulled over to the shoulder on the Petaluma Boulevard North offramp Monday morning and raced back to the highway to stop traffic.
“Nobody was stopping. Someone had to do something,” Mann said in a phone interview Wednesday.
“I didn’t think about me,” she added. “I just wanted to make sure nobody ran over the body anymore. At least he deserved that much.”
Mann, 27, stood out in the middle of the roadway in front of the body, waving her hands in an effort to get drivers to stop. She said a man yelled at her to get out of the way, complaining that he was going to be late to work.
“At times like this, we get to show our true colors and be there for someone else who needs it,” Mann said.
She said an off-duty Petaluma paramedic also stopped and checked on the truck driver and the mother and daughter in the SUV.
Mann said she tried to keep them calm and away from the body. The truck driver, who was just a few years younger than her, had broken down, so she embraced him until officers arrived on the scene, she said.
“I watched him collapse,” Mann said. “I would like to know that he’s OK and not blaming himself for something he had no control over.”