Jake Brewer, a senior policy adviser in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, has died at 34 in a bike accident. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Barack Obama said on Sunday he was “heartbroken at the tragic loss” of Jake Brewer, a White House technology adviser who was killed during a charity cycle ride in Maryland the day before.

Police said Brewer, who was 34 and lived in Alexandria, Virginia, died at around 3.40pm when he lost control of his bike on a sharp curve on Old Frederick Road, crossed lanes and collided with a car. The driver of the car was not injured.

Brewer was riding in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day, 150-mile ride which began on Saturday in Washington. The event’s website carried a statement which said: “This has been a very sad day for the ride community and our supporters.”

Brewer was senior policy adviser in the Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

In his statement, Obama said: “Simply put, Jake was one of the best. Armed with a brilliant mind, a big heart, and an insatiable desire to give back, Jake devoted his life to empowering people and making government work better for them.”

Obama concluded: “Michelle and I are praying for all of Jake’s family and his many friends, most of all his wife, Mary Katharine Ham, their daughter, Georgia, and their growing family. They’ll always have a family here at the White House.”

This article titled “Obama ‘heartbroken’ after White House tech adviser dies in cycling accident” was written by Martin Pengelly in New York, for theguardian.com on Sunday 20th September 2015 20.00 UTC

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