During our World Day of Remembrance vigil each year, we create space for anyone to share their story and experience with traffic violence. Each year we stand together to hold the grief, remembrance, and motivation for change. Though we can’t gather to share our stories, we still wanted to create a space to uplift them here.
A story from Emily Stein in memory of her father, Howard Stein
"My dad, Howard Stein, was killed in April, 2011. He was 61. A distracted driver hit him, and our lives were changed in an instant. I try to carry his patience, his sense of calm, and his wisdom about the world, with me every day. While it hurts so much, I share stories with my kids about who their grandpa was, and how he would have loved them so much if he had been able to meet them."
A story from Tom Brannelly in memory of his daughter, Katie Brannelly
"In 2012, Katie Brannelly was hit by a car while crossing the street with her boyfriend and friend. The driver was texting. Katie, who was about to graduate from college, survived the crash, but had suffered a traumatic brain injury and spent the following year in rehab. After 15 months, she passed away from complications due to her injuries. Her father, Tom Brannelly, helped to get the hands-free law passed in Massachusetts, and continues to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving."
A story from Robin Lord in memory of her husband, Cary Coovert
"My husband Cary Coovert, while out on a Sunday afternoon ride on March 24, 2019, was involved in a head-on collision on the Minuteman Bikeway in Lexington. He died at the age of 71 later that day, leaving a legacy that is still being honored in town today. We want to emphasize the bikeway is a shared space, filled with cyclists of all skills levels, pedestrians, rollerbladers, and more. Enforcing speed limits and safety measures is difficult on the bikeway, which runs through Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. Ultimately, safety on the bikeway all comes down to a team effort.
There's no easy solution. It's just awareness that, when you're out there, you're not alone. We just want to stress the importance of bicycle safety. That's what Cary would want people to understand."
Have you been impacted by traffic violence and want to share your story? Email us at [email protected] to have your story heard.
Resources for families affected by traffic violence.
Families for Safe Streets in New York has also been collecting stories from across the country here.