The family of 33-year-old Cameron Randle of Wylie is learning to live without him after a suspected drunken driver struck and killed him as he was riding his bicycle early Thanksgiving morning.
“He was beautiful and loving and we loved each other more than anyone's loved anyone in this world. We were each other's everything,” his wife, Lindsey Zimmerman-Randle said.
There’s was a love story many years in the making. They first met in middle school and reconnected later in life.
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“I knew after my first date I was going to marry him,” she said.
Seven years as his wife and her life changed forever at around 2:35 a.m. on Murphy Road in the city of Murphy.
Wilfred “TJ” Manatsa, Jr, 26, is the suspected drunken driver in the crash. He is in Collin County Jail and charged with intoxication manslaughter.
“This person stole my soul,” Zimmerman-Randle said. “The only thing I can take comfort in is that he died doing what he loved, because he loved his bike. He loved his neon green bike.”
Family members said Randle was an avid cyclist and the bicycle was a gift from his mother-in-law. He worked an overnight shift so it was common for him to ride in the overnight and early-morning hours when he was off.
“He was going on the ride that night building up his endurance because it is a 16-mile trip from our apartment to his work,” Zimmerman-Randle said.
He is remembered as a self-proclaimed book nerd who was always reading and he worked at the UT Dallas library. He was an Army veteran and loved black and white movies and that neon green bicycle. Mostly though, he loved his wife Lindsey.
“We could not have asked for someone to love her more. He loved her the way every woman should be loved,” his sister-in-law Jennifer Prall said. “For the rest of my life, I'll be grateful to know that she knew that kind of love from Cameron.”
They say they will miss his calming voice and the twinkle in his eyes and what they called his “portrait smile.”
“To know Cameron is to know humor,” Zimmerman-Randle smiled.
“I'm thankful for him. I'm thankful that I got to be with him. I'm thankful for those years,” she added. “It's just really hard.”
While pain is personal, love is meant to be shared and they want the world to know how much he was loved.
“It's awful that I didn't have enough time with him, but how much love him and I shared was enough to last a lifetime,” Zirmmerman-Randle said.
The family is now on a mission to bring attention to drunk driving at how it affects innocent families and to push for more bike lanes across North Texas.
They say Randle was an organ donor and they find peace in knowing he is still able to help others.