Patterson Skate Park reopens after fatal accident

local@modbee.comAugust 26, 2013 

— The Patterson Skate Park reopened Monday morning after a three-day closure prompted by a fatal accident involving a 19-year-old bicyclist.

Patterson resident Stephen Gugel was riding a bicycle in the park when about 9 p.m. Thursday he suffered a serious injury as a result of what appears to be an accident, according to a statement released by City Manager Rod Butler.

Gugel was taken by ambulance to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he died Friday. The park was closed over the weekend in part because the incident was being investigated but also to honor Gugel and his family, Butler said. A vigil was held at the park Friday night.

"City staff members have launched an investigation into exactly what happened, including an examination of available video surveillance and interviewing potential witnesses," Butler said in a statement. "The security guard from Rank Security was on duty at the time and will be interviewed as well."

Butler would not elaborate on how the accident occurred because he said the city still is gathering information and conducting an investigation.

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