Home News Cuesta student death ruled potential result of mountain bike accident

Cuesta student death ruled potential result of mountain bike accident


Screenshot of Eric McNeil’s GoFundMe to cover costs for the funeral.
Photo posted by the McNeil family 

By Garrett K. Smiley

A Cuesta student died recently in what authorities say may be due to a mountain biking accident.

Eric McNeil, a 58 year-old student who was working toward an Addiction Studies Certificate of Specialization, died Oct. 31 while mountain biking on Johnson Ranch trail in San Luis Obispo.

McNeil’s death was ruled as accidental with two causes: a heart attack and multiple blunt force trauma injuries from the mountain biking accident, authorities said.

However, authorities said they are uncertain which came first and which was the cause of death.

Mountain biking fatalities are rare, whereas injuries occur more frequently while attempting unsafe tricks or jumps while on a trail, experts said.

According to his memorial and GoFundMe page, McNeil was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed many activities both in and out of water.

A memorial paddle out will be held Nov. 26 at 11 a.m. at Avila Beach. It will be followed by a celebration of his life at Atascadero Lake Pavilion from 2 p.m. to  4 p.m.

Donations may be made to McNeil’s GoFundMe page here.

The proceeds will be used to cover the celebration of life expenses and excess funds will be donated to the Van Curaza Surf School as a scholarship for children who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

Lindsay Darbyshire, Rachel Barnes and Taylor Saugstad contributed to this article.