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Local man killed in bike accident


Well known for his art, colorful persona



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May 11, 2011 - Nearly a week has passed and the investigation into the death of Eric Shanley is ongoing. Shanley was killed early Friday morning (May 6) when the bicycle he was riding was struck by a patrol car driven by a Lake Orion Police officer.

Shanley, 38, was known to many folks locally – even if they did not know him personally — by his colorful mohawk hair and tattoos. Those who knew him say he was a kind person who loved children and was a talented artist as well – that he himself was a part of his art. Shanley had collection of unique bicycles that he designed and built himself.

According to Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh, at 12:15 am on Friday, the police officer was operating a "fully marked" patrol car on N. Park Boulevard. (M-24) heading north bound at W. Flint Street where he collided with Shanley. Narsh said Shanley was attempting to cross North Park Boulevard at W. Flint Street on a bicycle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Lake Orion Officer was not injured. Narsh requested Oakland County Sheriff's Office crash reconstruction unit handle the investigation. It is still not known if alcohol was a factor in the accident.

The officer involved is a 24 year veteran of the Lake Orion Police Department.

Narsh said Shanley, a Verwood Apartment resident in the village, was well known to members of the department. "Almost all of the officers got to know and like Eric, and Eric knew most of us. The guys and he would exchange waves and comments almost every time he was out, or on one of his unique bikes. Some of the officers had hung out with him off-duty as well. Eric was a part of the flavor, the spice that is Downtown Lake Orion, his talent and friendship will be missed.

"Police Officers spend their careers trying to help their community and protect life. This is a sad and heavy day for the officer and all the men and women of the Lake Orion Police Department. This is a devastating loss to the family and friends of the victim and our community, our hearts go out to the family of the victim," Narsh said.

According to the website, www.Deathnotices.Michigan.com, a funeral service for Shanley was Monday at the Sawyer-Fuller Funeral Home in Berkley, with interment at the Roseland Park Cemetery in that city. He was employed with Uni-Solar.

Shanley leaves behind two daughters, Naome Marshall and Patricia Badour, his parents, Richard and Julie Shanley (of Lake Orion) and sister Colleen (Anthony) Burdua.

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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