SF hit and run survivor honors bicyclists killed: Ride of Silence

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

SAN FRANCISCO
There was gratitude and grief at an annual event on Wednesday night in San Francisco. A bicyclist who survived a hit-and-run joins the Ride of Silence, an annual gathering that honors people who were killed while riding their bicycles in the city.

Alex Tamez, 34, said she no longer rides her bicycle after dark due to safety concerns. But on Wednesday night, she made an exception and joined dozens of bicyclists as they paid tribute to the lives lost.

The event was a somber remembrance. Ghost bikes, painted in white,  were memorials placed at locations of deadly crashes.  

I would like to see San Francisco be a city with zero ghost bikes,” said Tamez. In February 2022,  she was riding her bicycle home after work as a bar tender when a driver hit her from behind and sped off.

KTVU has followed her journey from the beginning from her life-threatening injuries to her road to recovery. She suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for more than a month. 

Tamez said she is still coping with chronic pain and fatigue, more than two years after the crash, but she’s grateful for a second chance at life.

“My will to live is very strong, and I’m never going to give up,” said Tamez.  It was a message of hope for those mourning the  loss of loved ones on this night.

Charles Vinson was among the dozens of bicyclists killed who were honored at the event. His long-time partner Jeff Jones, rode on the bicycle that Charles gave him.

“Grief not only for Charles, but for the forty others we’ll be observing tonight,” said Jones. The bicyclists made stops at locations where there have been deadly crashes.

Organizers said the city has made some safety improvements in response to bicyclists killed. This event is a call for proactive instead of reactive measures.

“When someone is killed in the community, it hurts all of us even though we may not know the person. We feel that it could be one of us killed,” said Paul Valdez, organizer with Ride of Silence.

Tamez said the driver in her case had not been caught, but that she had forgiven him. She now lives a life of gratitude and advocacy.  

“If you see somebody who needs help, ask them if you can help them. Love is always the answer,” said Tamez.  

She called on the city to install more surveillance cameras and protected bike lanes. She urged bicyclists to take personal responsibility by wearing a helmet and observing traffic rules.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU.

 

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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