Bicyclist killed in St. Joseph County hit-and-run crash identified as retired priest at Holy Family Parish

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:06 PM EDT
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ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has identified the bicyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run crash just west of South Bend’s city limits Monday night.

Police say it happened just before 7:50 p.m. on W. Western Avenue near Chapel Lane. The bicyclist—identified as Rev. Jan Klimczyk, 67, of South Bend—was riding westbound when he was struck by a vehicle.


The driver of the vehicle that struck Klimczyk left the scene of the crash before law enforcement was called. He was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday. His family has been notified. Klimczyk was a retired priest in residence at Holy Family Parish in South Bend.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend gave the following statement on the death of Father Jan Klimczyk.

Rev. Glenn Kohrman, head pastor at Holy Family Church, noted the 67 year old had exceptional energy and would walk several miles daily while tending to his priestly ministry.

“In fact, you know, he was just telling me, I was, I was planning on going on vacation next week for a few days. And, you know, on First Fridays, we visit the sick. And [Klimczyk] said, ‘Oh, no, I’ll take those First Friday calls for you, you know, so don’t come back for those,’” recalled Kohrman. “And so he really had a heart for service and was willing to help.”

Ordained in his native Poland, Klimczyk served several parishes in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, including St. Adalbert’s, St. Stanilaus Kostka in New Carlisle, and most recently Holy Family on the city’s far-westside.

The crash remains under investigation by the St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team (FACT). Anyone with information about the crash is encouraged to call 574- 235-5438.

Father Jan Klimczyk
Father Jan Klimczyk(Today's Catholic)

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