Cyclists and walkers took to the streets in Cape Coral for the first ever Ride and Walk of Silence event, which usually honors cyclists who have died on the road but tonight’s gathering included an exception.
The event honored 8-year-old Layla Aiken, who was killed while waiting for her bus in March.
Around 100 people came out to the Ride and Walk of Silence event, many wearing labels on their backs, like kid and mom, in an attempt to humanize themselves to the drivers who spotted them off Cape Coral Parkway.
“We have families that want to see us come home at night,” said Caloosa Riders Club member Megan Fasig. “I’m a daughter and I’m a wife. I’m a human being. I have just as much right to be out here.”
People gathered to honor those killed on the road in Lee County. A new additional this year is pedestrians, who walked for more than a mile.
“We’ve had a number of pedestrian fatalities,” said resident Mike Swanson.
The walk was added after two Lee County children were hit and killed while waiting for the school bus, Aiken and Alana Tamplin.
“Those tragedies have really brought light to a broader issue and we want to work to change it,” said President of the Streets Alive organization Diana Giraldo.
Rob Siebert of Critical Mass Southwest Florida says, “it’s frustrating and heartbreaking to all these families that that tragedies happen to.”
With the help of Cape Coral Police Department, the riders and walkers took to the streets tonight to remember the more than 144 biker and pedestrian deaths on Lee County roadways since 2012.
“Our recreational and hobbies should be something that we enjoy and something that takes our lives,” Fasig said.
WINK News did reach out to CCPD about an update on Aikens case, nearly two months late still no arrest.