Crossfitters sweat to honor fallen friend

Jason Rantala reports. 9/8/2016

KINGSLAND, Ga. -- Where many families share flesh and blood, Crossfit families share sweat. And in Crossfit Camden's case, they share tears.

"Right off the bat we just became immediate friends," says Dave Schumacher, owner of Crossfit Camden.

Schumacher says after just six months of the intense fitness regimen, Suze Kilner stood out.

"Came in here everyday, worked so hard, always had a smile on her face, super super great person, loved everybody, everybody loved her," says Schumacher.

Sunday afternoon, the mother of four, originally from Australia, was biking with her husband on the MacKay River Bridge in St. Simons Island, when she was struck from behind.

The driver, 30-year-old Gary Holland Jr., fled the scene.

Kilner was pronounced dead.

"It's like a family here, it's like losing a family member," says Crossfit Camden Coach Chris Portwood.

"It's the kind of pain you just don't want to experience. I literally fell to the ground at one point," says Schumacher.

Schumacher says continuing Crossfit classes seemed impossible, but then he thought about Suze.

"She would really be pissed at me if I didn't have these people come in here and workout," says Schumacher.

So through the pain and the tears, Schumacher held Crossfit classes.

"I think Suze would have been a little upset if we would have stopped and not had a class," says Portwood.

Workouts, from here on out, are dedicated to Suze.

"One of my coaches was telling me my abs are really really sore from the workout we did for Suze, and I bet she's just up there laughing," says Schumacher.

While the Crossfit family presses on, Dave wants drivers to hear this:

"You need to slow down, you need to pay attention to what's going on. There is nothing that pressing that you need to get to or do. You need to pay attention on the road," says Schumacher.

The driver of a work truck suspected of hitting Kilner, Holland, was found about an hour after the crash in McIntosh County.

He is facing a number of charges including first degree homicide by vehicle and hit and run.


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