Vigil planned for 'delightful' cyclist struck and killed in Boise

A suspect surrenders to Boise police in the hit-and-run death of Victor Haskell on Thursday.

sdeter@idahostatesman.comSeptember 28, 2013 

  • ST. MARY'S STUDENTS ORGANIZE FUNERAL

    Children at St. Mary's Catholic School wanted to take responsibility, the Rev. Thomas Faucher said. They are putting together a public service and lining up music and the minister and arranging other details. The service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church, 2612 W. State St. in Boise.

After persevering through a tremendous loss and challenging times, things were looking up for Victor Haskell.

Approaching the one-year anniversary of his mother's death, the 53-year-old had recently gotten work as a dishwasher at Angell's Bar and Grill Renato after being unemployed.

Just last week, when fellow parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church who'd lent him financial support in the past asked if he needed any more help, this is what he told them:

"No, I have a job now."

Haskell was likely riding his bike home from work, a few blocks away from his church, when he was struck early Thursday and left to die.

Friday evening, Gavin B. Haley, 31, turned himself in to Boise police in connection with the incident. His 2003 Land Rover was seized as evidence. Haley is scheduled for arraignment Monday on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Friends and family struggled Friday to make sense of the sudden loss of the quiet man who rode his bicycle everywhere.

"He always rode his bike to work and church," said the Rev. Thomas Faucher, pastor at St. Mary's.

Haskell was a familiar face around the church. He had attended 8:30 a.m. Mass two to three times a week and Sunday Mass for at least the past three or four years, Faucher said.

"He was a delightful man - very private in some ways," Faucher said. "A fine person."

Such recollections of Haskell echoed among those who knew him, including Angell's manager Kevin McCoy. Haskell had worked there a couple of months, and his shift Wednesday ended at 11:30 p.m.

"He was a very good person," McCoy said before being overcome by emotion.

Haskell's co-workers plan a vigil for 11 a.m. Saturday near where he died, on the north side of State Street near 30th Street. Boise police believe Haskell may have ridden into the traffic lane to avoid construction on the sidewalk.

Police believe he was struck by a car, possibly a dark SUV, about 12:15 a.m.

His body wasn't discovered until eight hours later, when a passer-by noticed him in a small hole created by the construction.

Saturday's vigil will be attended by his sister, Brenda Haskell of Boise. Efforts were underway to get his brother, Barry Haskell, to Boise from his home in Alaska. That's where the other Haskells lived until 1986, family spokesman Vaughn Adamson said.

Also likely attending will be members of the Boise Filipino community, which Adamson said has strong ties to the family.

Brenda and Barry Haskell, and Barry's son, Blaine, are Victor Haskell's only surviving relatives, Adamson said. He said their mother, Barbara, died Oct. 14, 2012, of natural causes.

Now, amid more grief, the family is seeking answers.

"They want to find out what happened," Adamson said. "And why he was left to die."

Sean Deter: 377-6450; Twitter: IDS_Deter

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