CHICAGO — Friends and family of a cyclist killed in a crash last month came together Thursday evening to create awareness about what they called a dangerous intersection.
Jaime Bolognone fought back the tears talking about Gerardo Marciales, the man she was supposed to marry later in the year.
“Gerardo was the best person I’ve ever known,” Bolognone said. “This was very hard because it was a preventable accident.”
Bolognone called Marciales the kindest and most generous person she’s ever known.
“His passing has impacted so many people, and we miss him so much,” she said.
Marciales was riding across DuSable Lake Shore Drive at Balbo on Feb. 28 after biking along the lakefront when a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old man struck him.
“The police called me to tell me (what happened),” Bolognone recalled.
The news quickly rippled through the family.
“Gerardo’s fiancé sent me a text saying ‘I need to talk to you now,’ and at that moment, I knew something was wrong,” said Marciales’ sister Dubraska Diaz Campos.
She had the unfortunate task of alerting loved ones in England.
Two days after the accident, doctors declared Marciales brain dead.
Christina Whitehouse with Bike Lane Uprising helped put together a vigil Thursday for the loss of yet another cyclist in Chicago.
“I can’t keep up with this,” Whitehouse said. “We’ve been buying materials for ghost bikes in bulk.”
Whitehouse said ghost bikes are roadside memorials to pay tribute to someone who lost their life.
The hope is that city officials can do something to make crossings safer for bicyclists.
“We hope people are listening and the city will consider making safety changes to not only this intersection but many others,” Bolognone said.
The plea comes, so no other families have to suffer.
“You are with me in my memories and in my broken heart,” Marciales’ sister said. “I love you.”
A GoFundMe in honor of Gerardo Marciales has already raised more than $8,000.