CHICAGO — Friends and family of a cyclist killed in a crash last month gathered Thursday night to raise awareness of what they called a dangerous intersection.
Jaime Bolognes fought back tears when talking about Gerardo Marciales, the man she was supposed to marry later in the year.
“Gerardo was the best person I have ever known,” Bolognese said. “It was very difficult because it was an avoidable accident.”
Bolognese called Marciales the kindest and most generous person she has ever known.
“His passing touched so many people and we miss him so much,” she said.
Marciales was crossing DuSable Lake Shore Drive in Balbo on Feb. 28 after biking along the lake when a vehicle driven by a 26-year-old man hit him.
“The police called me to tell me (what happened),” recalls Bolognese.
The news quickly spread to the family.
“Gerardo’s fiancé texted me saying ‘I need to talk to you now,’ and at that moment I knew something was wrong,” Marciales’ sister Dubraska Diaz Campos said. .
She had the unfortunate task of alerting her relatives in England.
Two days after the accident, doctors declared Marciales brain dead.
Christina Whitehouse with Bike Lane Uprising helped organize a vigil on Thursday for the loss of another cyclist in Chicago.
“I can’t follow this,” Whitehouse said. “We buy materials for ghost bikes in bulk.”
Whitehouse said the ghost bikes are roadside memorials to honor someone who has lost their life.
The hope is that city authorities can do something to make level crossings safer for cyclists.
“We hope people are listening and that the city will consider making safety changes not just at this intersection but at many others,” Bolognese said.
The call comes, so no other family has to suffer.
“You are with me in my memories and in my broken heart,” Marciales’ sister said. “I love you.”
A GoFundMe honoring Gerardo Marciales has already raised over $8,000.
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