Turlock native Stephen Gugel, 19, a 2012 Pitman High School graduate, passed away early yesterday morning following a Thursday accident at the Patterson bike park.
The Stanislaus County Coroner's Office says the cause of death is undetermined at this time, however it is believed Gugel died from internal bleeding or injuries that resulted following an impact to his abdominal area. It is believed that Gugel's bike handlebars hit his abdomen during a hard fall.
Following the accident Gugel was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he passed away at 4:03 a.m.
The Patterson City Manager’s office had no comment on the incident.
Matt Nascimento, owner of Downtown Turlock's Bike Works, knew Gugel well and says he was well known in the area’s BMX community.
“He is known as a very genuine, kind guy,” Nascimento said. “He was a friend to everybody, a great equalizer. This is a real bummer; he was such a cool kid, came from a great family and had good roots. When he lived here in Turlock he was always around here (at Bike Works) and I’m really going to miss him and so are a lot of people.”
Nascimento says friends of Gugel are welcome to come to the shop and remember his life.
Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as of Friday.