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Bicyclist hit, killed by garbage truck was UC Davis professor

Kentaro Inoue.
Kentaro Inoue. University of California, Davis

A bicyclist who died of injuries suffered in a collision with a refuse truck in West Sacramento was a UC Davis professor with a love for research and biking.

Professor Kentaro Inoue, 47, of Sacramento, died Wednesday in the collision.

“Kentaro was an outstanding scientist and a well-liked faculty member,” said Joe DiTomaso, interim chairman of the department of plant sciences, in a UC Davis story about Inoue’s death.

The crash at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday involving a refuse truck and the bicyclist occurred in the 2000 block of West Capitol Avenue near Poplar Avenue. When officers arrived at the scene, Inoue was dead.

The truck and bicyclist were both westbound on West Capitol when the truck driver made a turn and the collision occurred, police said. The driver stopped and cooperated with officers.

Professor Inoue joined the UC Davis faculty in 2002. Inoue’s specialties, according to a UC Davis website, included cell and developmental biology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genomics.

The story published online by UC Davis noted that he is survived by his wife, Amy Brown, a Roseville veterinarian and UC Davis graduate. A friend of Inoue, Takao Kasuga, a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher in the Department of Plant Pathology, said the couple married in February and since then Inoue typically commuted from Brown’s house in Sacramento by bicycle to his work in Davis.

Inoue, who was from Niihama, Japan, received his bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D., all in pharmaceutical sciences, from the University of Tokyo.

He did postdoctoral work at the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore, Okla. A 2007 article in the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation’s Legacy magazine noted that he developed a love for research and biking as a youth in Japan.

“Biking and research may seem different but both require you to be focused, patient and determined to be successful,” he said in the magazine article. “Each offers different rewards, but they are equally enjoyable to me.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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