A Laguna Beach man died following an E-bike collision near Canyon View Drive and Buena Vista Way on Monday, authorities said.
Laguna Beach police and paramedics were dispatched around 5:44 p.m. after receiving a report of a downed bicyclist. Norman Rest, 73, was found bleeding significantly after apparently colliding with a dumpster, city spokesperson Cassie Walder said.
As paramedics attempted to tend to Rest’s injuries, he went into full cardiac arrest and was taken to Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo. He was pronounced dead at the hospital and an investigation is ongoing, Walder said.
“At this time, there are no witnesses to the collision, and it does not appear that any other vehicles or persons were involved in the collision,” Walder said.
Investigators believe Rest was riding his E-bike without a light, according to a prepared statement.
Rest and his wife, Debra Kottke, co-founded the Lido Paddle Project in September 2020 to serve veterans and first responders by promoting mental wellness through stand-up paddle boarding.
Born in Pasadena, Rest moved to Newport Beach resident in 1960, when his family purchased a weekend and summer home, according to his online biography.
After being a teenage “tree house master”, Rest built a three-story home for his young family in Top of the World when he was 21 years old. The build launched Rest into a life-long career of building that included 12 Top of the World homes as well as projects in several states and other countries.
Aside from his wife and children Chris and Elizabeth, Rest’s greatest passions include playing and restoring stringed instruments, surfing, downhill skiing, classic cars, E-biking, and paddling.
Rest and his father started the Lido Sailing Club more than 40 years ago. The Via Lido property is now home to Windward Sailing Club and Lido Paddle Sports.
Bobby Friedman, co-owner of Lido Paddle Sports, met his future business partner installing tile on a home Rest was building in Back Bay.
“There’s nothing Norm couldn’t do or figure out,” Friedman said. “I’m hurting for Debbie.”
Friedman recalled Rest’s work developing a community in Costa Rica from the ground up. He’ll also fondly remember his friend agreeing to cover the cost of paddle sessions for veterans and first responders who showed up at their shop.
“I’ve never seen Norm enjoying his life this much as I have in the last six months,” Friedman said.
Top of the World resident Michelle Highberg was recruited by Rest last year to serve as the budding nonprofit’s chief development officer. The nonprofit has hosted more than 300 free paddling sessions for veterans and first responders.
“When I first met Norman, I knew my life would never be the same,” Highberg wrote in an email. “Immediately, I felt the warmth of his heart. In time, I watched his new purpose grow through the transformational joys of giving. Norman treasured people, relationships, integrity, and the truth.”
Highberg said she plans to regroup to Kottke in the coming weeks to chart a course for the Paddle Project’s new future and is hopeful the nonprofit will be Rest’s legacy.View Our User Comment Policy