A tragic cycling accident on April 14 has taken the life of a longtime Tsawwassen resident.
As an avid cyclist and triathlete, Mike Starko, 57, was doing his regular Thursday ride when the accident took place on Sea Salish Way and NuLelum Way near Tsawwassen Mills. The accident remains under investigation by Delta Police.
Starko leaves behind his wife Kathy, three children Emma, Zachary and Maria, along with a community where he had many connections. A memorial at the accident scene includes a jersey from the South Delta Riders, a local cycling club he has been actively involved with for years.
“He’s probably done that exact ride 1,000 times,” said Emma. “He has been biking most of his life. We are all still in shock. It’s just overwhelming.”
Starko not only was a big supporter of his children as they came through South Delta Secondary, but others too. That included chairing the Delta Gymnastics Society board of directors for more than seven years.
“He was so heavily involved in sports, the community and social responsibility, yet he was probably the most present father you could ask for growing up,” continued Emma. “My mom was always around too, but my dad was equally as much a presence and was just a second father to so many people. He just really cared, loved and mentored so many.
“We are so fortunate. We have had so many people we've never met, that he’s biked or swam with, that have come to our houses and told us really special stories about him. We’ve really had an outpour of love.”
A celebration of life is planned for April 29 at the Beach Grove Golf Club at 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking to donate to Right to Play (www.righttoplay.ca), a non-profit organization that always was important to Mike.