A crowd gathered outside near the Wheaton Metro Station on Sunday to remember those who died recently in traffic incidents in Montgomery County, Maryland.
The names of 85 people who died on Montgomery County roads, including 45 in 2020, and 40 so far in 2021, were read out loud at Marian Fryer Town Plaza in Wheaton.
Allan Jimenez lost his 53-year-old brother Ricardo on Dec. 22 of last year just up the street at the corner of Georgia and University Avenue. He was crossing the street when he was struck by a vehicle.
“It’s nice to see that there is an almost like support system that can help try to overcome the pain even though you never really overcome the pain,” Jimenez said.
The candle lighting memorial was part of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.
“We know that one life is too many but we can’t forget any of them, so we’re going to read each and every one of their names and recommit to the work that we have been doing the urgent need to make our roads safer for everybody,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson.
Mindy Badin lost her 32-year-old son Brett on Rockville Pike in January of 2020. He was the second pedestrian killed on that road in a 24-hour period.
“I think it’s important that we tell our stories. It’s important that people know about our loved ones,” Badin said.
Friedson said that the names of those lost should inspire changes to roadways in Montgomery County and beyond.
“There’s a long list of changes. The challenge that we have is that we need major changes. Not just intersection by intersection,” Friedson said.