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‘His Smile. His Smile Was Incredible': Friends Remember Cyclist Killed in Collision

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 1/13/2021 Joe Little
a close up of a man: Friends said Julius Cunanan was a great mentor and even better father. © Provided by NBC San Diego

Friends said Julius Cunanan was a great mentor and even better father.

He was a mentor, a friend and a great father.

That’s how Freddy Lindo said he’d remember Julius Cunanan.

Lindo said Cunanan died Sunday when the 40-year-old’s bicycle collided with a motorcycle along Otay Lakes Road east of Otay Lakes. The California Highway Patrol is still investigating.

The rider of the motorcycle also died in the collision. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the motorcyclist as Chula Vista resident Jonathan Charbonnet, 43.

Lindo said he was riding far ahead of Cunanan when he heard about the accident.

“At that very moment, it was a complete shock,” Lindo said. “The accident, the way it happened -- it shouldn’t have happened. It could have been avoided.”

“He cared for everyone he met that came on to the team," Lindo said. "He took them under his wing."

Lindo said he met Cunanan a few years ago and joined his cycling team, the Padyah Racing Team.

“Julius was very understanding, easygoing, easy to talk to,” Lindo added.

Lindo said the Chula Vista resident and his wife had their second son just a month ago.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ9mx17DKRo

“He told me, ‘Freddy, my perspective in life has changed. I want to do everything for my son,’ ” Lindo recalled his friend saying. “He was doing everything, first and foremost, for his family, for his kids, and just last month they had another child.”

A GoFundMe account for Cunanan’s funeral services already reached its goal. Lindo started another fundraiser to care for Cunanan’s two young sons.

Lindo said it was the least he could do for his friend.

“His smile. His smile was incredible,” he added.

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