NATOMAS (CBS13) — A grieving family’s memorial has been dismantled, just over a year after their loved one passed away.
Fifteen-year-old Jamari Moore was hit and killed on his bike between El Centro Road and Arena Boulevard last August. His family made a “ghost bike” tribute in his memory but learned it was stolen Tuesday.READ MORE: Sacramento Expects Busy Holiday Weekend, Will COVID Surge Impact Business?
“We put a lot of time and energy into making that bike, and it was an emotional experience,” said Jennifer Green, Moore’s grandmother.
Green’s heart is still broken over the death of her 15-year-old grandson. The “ghost bike” she made in her grandson’s memory was tied to a pole near the crash site, until earlier this week.
“I was really upset when I first find out about it,” Green said.
Someone stole Moore’s memorial bike and dismantled the plaque hanging in front of it. Green says the bike was more than a memorial, it was a reminder for the public to slow down, and share the road with other cyclists.
“We are tunneling our grief trying to make it a positive engine to affect change,” Green added.READ MORE: Tsunami Advisory Canceled For San Francisco Bay Area, Remains Near Santa Cruz
Green and her family founded “Stop Hard”, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about hit-and-run deaths involving bicyclists.
“Recently, we did an event in partnership with Sacramento police and Sacramento County Sheriff, where we gave away 125 bike helmets; we are on both sides of the issue, the legal side and the safety side,” Green said.
Green says she’s also trying to bring changes to how hit-and-run drivers are sentenced. On Friday, the man who hit and killed Moore received a suspended sentence of two years in state prison. That means if he stays out of trouble, he may not serve any time.
Green says she’s Moore’s voice now. — a voice of inspiration she hopes will bring changes to prevent a tragedy like the one that took her grandson away, far too early.
“Knowing we could possibly help other families avoid being in the position we are in right now, that’s what keeps us going,” Moore said.MORE NEWS: Grass Valley Veteran Gets Hero's Welcome To A New, Custom Home
A recent study by AAA states California topped the nation with the highest number of hit and run deaths, in 2016.