KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City’s cycling community is rallying around the family of a man who was killed while riding last month.

Cyclists have organized a bike ride fundraiser for Charlie Criniere’s wife and 10 children. “Bright Lights for Charlie” will happen Sept. 17 at the Longview Lake beach to also encourage all cyclists to ride with bright tail lights.

It’s been 10 days since a driver struck Criniere as he rode his bike on View High Drive near Longview Road. Police said the driver left him for dead and drove off toward Lee’s Summit after the crash.

The death touched many riders from all around the Kansas City area, who didn’t know Charlie, but often rode that same route.

They organized this event, where cyclists can ride anywhere from 10-100 miles and make donations that will go to Criniere’s surviving spouse and 10 children.

“That road he was hit on, there’s probably 10,000 times a bicycle rides on it,” said J.C. Van Deventer, a bike rider who organized the event. “I rode across that spot 10 times just on Saturday alone. Absolutely, it could have been me, or anyone else I know that rode later that same day.”

Kansas City police have been searching for a white Acura MDX that investigators believe was involved in the crash.

Criniere was a math teacher at the Martin City K-8 school. He also served as a deacon at Grace Point Baptist Church. A GoFundMe account already has raised more than $100,000 for Criniere’s family.

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