Taiwanese cyclists accompany Japanese victim on final trip

Hiroyuki Shirai died 4 days after being hit by falling rocks at Taroko

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Hiroyuki Shirai's father (3rd from left) holding the urn with the ashes of his son.

Hiroyuki Shirai's father (3rd from left) holding the urn with the ashes of his son. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Over a hundred Taiwanese cyclists showed up in Hualien Saturday morning to pay their respects to a 35-year-old Japanese man who died four days after being hit by falling rocks.

Hiroyuki Shirai (白井寬之) from Shizuoka had been preparing for a race when he was cycling out near Taroko Gorge last Saturday, a popular tourist destination which nevertheless sees frequent landslides.

He was on his way back from Tianxiang when rocks fell and hit him and two people on a motorcycle close to a tunnel. While the others were only slightly wounded, Shirai was hit in the head and needed emergency treatment.

He died after four days at Hualien’s Tzu Chi Hospital and was cremated there on Friday, reports said.

As his father and fiancée came over from Japan to take the urn with his ashes home with them, more than a hundred Taiwanese cycling enthusiasts showed up Saturday morning to accompany Shirai on his journey from the hospital to Hualien City Railway Station.