Beth Maupin, 27, had made cookies for Canton's Fire Department before heading out on her bike Thursday evening, training for a triathlon she planned to enter with her brother this year.
But the Canton woman's life was cut short after she was struck by a Jeep at the intersection of Haggerty and Michigan Avenue. Canton firefighters rushed Maupin to St. Joseph Hospital in Ypsilanti, where she died.
Visitation for Elizabeth A. Maupin is from 2-8 p.m. Tuesday at McCabe Funeral Home, 851 Canton Center Rd., Canton; and from 10-10:30 a.m. Wednesday with a memorial service immediately following at St. Thomas a'Becket Catholic Church, 555 Lilley Rd., Canton.
Maupin, a 2002 graduate of Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, had a large extended family and wide circle of friends.
Her husband, Brent Maupin, 28, said he's struggling with the loss. He's talked to the two oldest of the couple's four children, Connor, 4, and Katelyn, 3, but said Connor is the only one who barely understands what happened. The other children are Christian, 2, and 4-month-old Carter.
Connor is "a little confused. He knows she was in an accident and she's not coming back," Maupin said. "My daughter just knows she's not coming home, but she doesn't understand."
The Garden City native described his wife as a woman devoted to family and friends, but most of all to her children.
"Her whole life revolved around her children," he said. "She would do anything for anybody. That day, she baked cookies for the fire station. She was that kind of person. If you were in trouble, she'd do anything to help … she had the biggest heart."
The couple met on the social networking site MySpace.com, he said, chuckling softly at the memory and telling the story.
"She was actually looking for another friend, and she came across my site," he said. "She thought, 'You're cute,' so we started writing, and I said, 'Why don't we meet up?' and we went from there. Within two or three weeks, we were engaged and married a year later and had our first son in between. It was one of those love-at-first-sight things."
Now friends are pouring out their grief on another social network, Facebook, and looking for ways to help Beth's family. "I'm trying to stay away from that," he said. "It's just too much right now."
Maupin owns Impeccable Painting, a commercial painting company. He said the outpouring of support from family and friends since the accident has been tremendous.
"I've got a lot of support from my brother, he's my right-hand man, and we've got a couple other contractors helping out."
This week, the outpouring of support from family and friends has helped Maupin deal with the shock and grief over Beth's death.
"I think it's going to be a little rougher when that ends," he said.
He has spent the past few days making funeral arrangements and trying to understand what caused the accident that killed his wife. He visited the scene with Canton Police detectives.
According to what he was told and to police reports, Beth Maupin was walking her bike from the west side of Haggerty to the east side just before 8:30 p.m. Thursday when she was struck by a Jeep driven by a 49-year-old woman.
"She struck Beth, and pretty much, Beth got pinned under the Jeep and dragged from the corner all the way across to the Michigan turnaround … from what I understand, the woman wasn't even aware Beth was under the car," he said. "There was a police officer that witnessed everything and got it on his dash cam."
Maupin said that while he was at the intersection with police, "We watched people. Not one person thought to look to the right to see if there were any pedestrians. We almost got hit by a vehicle when we were out there."
The police investigation continues, but initial reports indicate that neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to have been a factor. The driver of the Jeep has been identified only as a 49-year-old Canton woman; it is unclear what, if any, charges will be filed against her.
"Beth had the right of way. The light turned and Beth started to walk the bike across the street. The lady was looking at oncoming traffic (westbound on Michigan Avenue) on the left and never turned right to see Beth," he said. "She struck Beth and pretty much Beth got pinned under the Jeep and dragged from the corner all the way across to the Michigan turnaround … from what I understand the woman wasn't even aware Beth was under the car. There was a police officer that witnessed everything and got it on his dashcam."
He said while at the intersection with police, "We watched people. Not one person though to look to the right to see if there were any pedestrians. We almost got hit by a vehicle when we were out there."
The police investigation continues but initial reports indicate neither drugs nor alcohol were a factor. The driver of the Jeep has only been identified as a 49-year-old Canton woman; it is unclear what, if any, charges will be filed against her.
Maupin is convinced that pedestrians and bicyclists would be safer if right turns on red lights were barred at Haggerty and Michigan.
Meanwhile, Maupin said, he's working with Chase Bank to set up a trust fund for his children in the wake of the accident, but the plans have not been finalized.
In addition to her husband and children, Beth Maupin is survived by her parents, Dennis and Jane Graham; a brother, Stephen; a sister, Shelby; her grandmother Ann Wiesemann; and a large extended family.