by Porscha McLaurin
Six months ago, my family was shattered forever by the loss of my sweet, caring 16-year-old son Jayden, who was killed riding his bike in our neighborhood, Astoria, Queens in New York City, by the driver of a speeding SUV. Jayden was a loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend. To know Jayden was to love him and to love Jayden was to know him. Those who knew Jayden loved him. His loss has devastated us. I miss him so much and feel pain every day on a level I once would’ve thought impossible.
Jayden was there for his family and community. He did things for those around him every day, whether it was helping our elderly neighbors carry items into their apartments, providing a laugh for a friend who needed one, or flashing his beautiful smile for us, warming our hearts with his laughter and kindness, he was there for others. Although he was only 16-years-old when he was killed, Jayden’s influence on our community reflected that of someone many years his senior. His connections to the Astoria Boys and Girls Club, the NYPD’s 114th Precinct, and his high school, Martin Luther King High School, just to name a few, ran extremely deep.
This steadfast dedication to those around him is one reason why my family and I will be side-by-side with other members of Families for Safe Streets (FSS) and our supporters in Astoria, a neighborhood devastated by traffic violence, on Sunday, November 19th for World Day of Remembrance. That day, FSS NYC will lead a march from Astoria Park through the neighborhood, passing the crash sites where Jayden, Karina Larino, Tammy Chuchi Kao, and Mariano Canales were killed, all within the last three years.
When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.
Please join us on 11/19 to REMEMBER those killed in crashes, SUPPORT those personally affected by traffic violence, and demand ACTion in their name. If you live locally, please march with us for Jayden and all those we have lost and who have been seriously injured in traffic violence. Together, in New York City and across the country, we demand that our leaders hear us and fix our streets so that they are safe for everyone.