CHICAGO – Community members gathered on the North Side Sunday to remember two toddlers killed by vehicles in the last two week.
Two-year-old Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas, was killed on June 2. He was riding a mini-scooter through the intersection at Eastwood and Leavitt when he was hit by an SUV.
Three-year-old Lily Shambrook lost her life on June 9 when a semi, already stopped at the intersection of Lealand and Winthrop began to move, hitting the bike Lily’s mom was riding. Lily was in carrier on that bike and was killed.
Sunday’s gathering also included a procession organized by Chicago Family Biking and Better Streets Chicago.
Rafi’s parents Henry Cardenas and Marina Ross spoke to the supporters.
“The way that everyone has lifted us up during this time makes it clear that this loss is not only our own, this is a loss for our entire community,” Ross said.
Alderman Matt Martin and Congressman Mike Quigley were among those on hand lending their support to infrastructure improvements and laws to prevent additional deaths and injuries.
“While it’s important that we come together and mourn, it’s also important to come together and ask what we can do collectively,” Martin said.
Changes that will take some time. For now, those here ask that drivers pay better attention to the road, and the others, like children who may be in harms way.
“Our mission is to honor Rafi and Lily by enacting change … together,” Cardenas said. “We will demand that our streets be updated and redesigned so that pedestrian safety is always prioritized.”