BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The cycling community comes together to remember a Baltimore man killed in an accident while riding his bike over the weekend.
Derek Valcourt has more on the ride and vigil honoring Thomas Palermo.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1.5K New Cases Reported, Positivity Rate Down
Candles and now a ghost bike mark the spot where it all happened. Hundreds of people came to a vigil. Many never knew the victim, but were so touched by this tragedy.
Bike after bike after bike formed a sea of wheels–all rolling to pay tribute to Thomas Palermo. The fellow biker and father of two was killed last weekend when he was struck by a car as he rode in a bike lane on Roland Avenue.
His death struck a nerve in the biking community.
“This feels personal. It could have been any of us,” said cyclist Nancey Kinlin. “I didn’t know him, but I feel this has an element of shock to it.”
Cyclists with Bike Maryland organized the three-mile ride to the site of the crash. The symbolic trek was as much about raising awareness and educating drivers as it was about honoring the victim.
“I think it’s important to let everybody know that, hey, we’re traffic on the road–just like cars are—and people need to pay attention to us,” cyclist Steve Thomas said.
“He would love it to see all of us out here,” said Carrie Hulting, Palermo’s niece.
Palermo’s niece and brother-in-law were among the family members who took part in the memorial ride, which ended with a brief vigil and a moment of silence.READ MORE: Maryland Lawmakers Override Vetoes On Sweeping Police Reform Measures
But the most emotional moment came as a ghost bike was secured to a pole near the site of the accident to serve as constant reminder of Palermo’s tragic death. It’s a symbol his family says will remind them of how he lived.
“I’m going to think about how great a person Tom was, what a loving husband he was, what a loving father he was to his children,” Palermo’s brother-in-law, Jeff Hulting, said. “That’s what Tom wants to be remembered as.”
The driver of the car that struck and killed Palermo has been identified as Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook. So far, no charges have been filed in the case.
People are encouraged to sign this guestbook in Palermo’s honor.
A visitation will be at Ruck Towson Funeral Home at 1050 York Road on Friday, Jan. 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The memorial mass will be held on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 10 a.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson.
The family asks in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Palermo Children’s Educational Trust c/o Michael Molloy at Stifel Nicholas, One South St., 30th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202.Baltimore County Police Investigating Fatal Pedestrian-Involved Crash In White Marsh
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