Riverbank City staff, especially members of the Parks and Recreation Department, are mourning the loss of their friend and fellow employee, Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Tim Dowdy. Though he worked in Riverbank, he lived in the Oakdale area. Dowdy was killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident near Waterford early Thursday morning, Nov. 10.
Originally reported on the CHP traffic incident page as a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident, the investigation was later taken over by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. No vehicle other than one Dowdy had reportedly rented after recently having crashed his motorcycle was at the scene but authorities are theorizing a second vehicle was involved and fled the scene.
Not many other details of the incident had been released as of press deadline, but the investigation continues.
His wife, Kari, owns the Riverbank-based Precision Driving School.
Known by friends and co-workers as a guy who “always had a smile on his face and a laugh in his voice,” Dowdy was in charge of improving and maintaining various Riverbank parks, from the grounds and the building at the Historical Museum to Jacob Myers Park, Plaza del Rio, and others around town.
As a boss, Dowdy would often roll up his sleeves, pitch in and get his hands dirty, working on whatever project was needed.
It has been said that he was most proud of his efforts to help “turn around” Jacob Myers Park. Before 2000, families had basically stopped using the facility because of so much drug use in the area.
In his official capacity, Dowdy worked closely with a group of citizens who formed Friends of Jacob Myers Park that year. The group spearheaded a fundraising effort that accumulated the money to buy equipment for the modernization of the playground at the park. And along with two supervisors from the manufacturer, city employees, FJMP volunteers and others, helped get the facility installed in two days.
Since that time, Dowdy and the city have worked closely with the group to plan, improve and expand the park facilities there. He has had a similar impact on parks throughout Riverbank.
Dowdy was an avid motorcycle enthusiast. It was reported that he recently crashed his Harley-Davidson, and was off work with torn knee ligaments.