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Posted at 7:40 AM ET, 05/25/2010

Va. teen cyclist remembered at vigil

By Washington Post editors

Mourning replaced celebration for Fairfax High School senior and wrestler Abdel Ouahid Chadli, 18, who was killed Friday in Fairfax County when an out-of-control sport-utility vehicle veered across a median strip and six traffic lanes and onto a bicycle path, where the teen was riding, before crashing into a tree. The driver, Gary Anthony Thorne of Manassas, died at the scene, one day shy of turning 32.

Kevin Richards, 17, of Fairfax, who was Abdel's neighbor and wrestling partner, said members of the team gathered at the crash site Sunday to
pay their respects to the young man whose sense of humor and talent for impersonations earned him the nickname "Borat." They made a memorial, leaving a poem, a pair of wrestling shoes, and singlets, the uniform grapplers wear, and talked about getting tattoos in their friend's honor.

Richards said he and Abdel ran as many as seven miles a day when they were getting in shape for wrestling and get in under the most competitive weight limit, a practice known as "cutting weight."

"This kid worked so hard," Richards said.

Richards said Abdel had been bicycling with his girlfriend, Emma Duke, a favorite past time, when the accident occurred. And he was looking forward to starting college to become a veterinarian.

"I really miss the kid," Richards said

Craig Franklin, coach of Fairfax High School's "Rebel Pride" wrestling
team, said Abdel Chadli stood out for his work ethic, his sense of humor and his willingness to learn. Abdel became involved in wrestling later than most, joining only in his sophomore. But he pushed himself so hard that he advanced quickly, despite competing in one of the toughest weight brackets, at 119 pounds, became a wizard at the 2- point takedown, Franklin said.

"On the mat and definitely in the practice room, he was one of the hardest working kids on the team," Franklin said. "By the time he was a senior, you couldn't tell he started his sophomore year."

As hard as he worked, Abdel also kept things loose with his sense of humor.

"He was hilarious. There were times in practice he would have the whole team just laughing, just rolling," Campbell said. "I'm still in shock. He's lost but he's obviously not going to be forgotten."

-- Fredrick Kunkel

By Washington Post editors  | May 25, 2010; 7:40 AM ET
 
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Comments

Extremely sad. Let's hope Wapo follows up on the story. Chances are great that the person who killed the 18-year-old was a typical SUV driver who was driving too fast and didn't think traffic laws applied to him.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 25, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Extremely sad. Let's hope Wapo follows up on the story. Chances are great that the person who killed the 18-year-old was a typical SUV driver who was driving too fast and didn't think traffic laws applied to him.

Posted by: checkered1
++++++++++++++++++++++++=

Oh, please!

There are equal chances that the SUV driver might have had a seizure or a heart attack. either way, the crash was fatal to him, too.

You're always so quick to judge - and show your ignorance and prejudice in the process., especially when it comes to stories about crime in Black communities.

I'm probably wasing my time writing this. I notice you NEVER reply to rebuttals to the nonsesne you post. You just post stupidity and run away. Like a child.

"Chances are great" that you call yourself a man.

Posted by: ceefer66 | May 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Oh, please!

Chances are equally great that the SUV driver may have had a seizure or a heart attack. Either way, the crash was fatal to him, too.

You're always so quick to judge - and show your ignorance and prejudice in the process - especially when it comes to stories about crime in Black communities.

I'm probably wasting my time writing this since you NEVER reply to rebuttals to the nonsense you post. You just post stupidity and run away. Like a child playing tag.

"Chances are great" that you call yourself a man.

Posted by: ceefer66 | May 25, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

There was not one victim in this tragic situation there were two.

Two young men died
Two families will not see their loved one
Two Mothers are feeling pain that most of us can’t even imagine.
Two Fathers have lost their sons


There is a non verbal misunderstanding and misconception with this situation. I don’t care what you drive. It could be a smart car or a tank nobody wants something like this to happen. You have not seen a situation yet were it was somebody’s intention or fault rather directly or indirectly wants to veer across 6 lanes of traffic at 4 pm on a Friday where rush hour has started in this area take a young mans life that they do not know and then end his on life by running into a tree the day before his birthday and leave his children and family forever. Since nobody wants to say it I will. If drinking or drugs were involved this is Fairfax county you would know by now and the police would not still be asking for witnesses . So please understand TWO young men will not come home tonight and TWO families are in pain.

Posted by: Thick_Redbone_Chick | May 26, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Not to put down the content of this article, but one could think you would spell his name right? It's AbdUl *with a u*. I really think his name should be spelled correctly if you are writing an article like this on his death.

Posted by: lamb-girl | May 27, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

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