Sunday was the Times Up memorial ride to Far Rockaway for Andre Anderson. In case you aren't familiar with Andre's story, he was hit and killed by a reckless driver this past Septemeber while riding home. Andre was 14 and an avid BMX rider. The driver that hit him did so while speeding and attempting to swerve around him. He was hit so hard that his BMX was cut in two. None of this makes Andre's case all that unique (unfortunately). What does make it different was the driver's reaction. Immediately after killing Andre, the driver exited his vehicle and ran back to another SUV that his friend was driving, so they could get their stories/excuses straight. He did not check on Andre's condition, or attempt to help him. And it only gets worse. Jose Vicens, the driver, was not charged with anything, not given a breathalizer, and there has not, nor appears to be any chance of an investigation into Andre's death. Despite witnesses who have come forward claiming that the accident was Vicens' fault, the NYPD has refused to take any other statements and have chosen not to look into the matter. Vicens' statement also makes the lack of an investigation worse. He admits to speeding as well as seeing Andre and swerving not once, but twice. He does not claim to have applied the brakes at any point or honked his horn. And perhaps the most disturbing is that when Vicens finally did hit Andre, he was trying to pass him in the right side. The Queens District Attorney Richard Brown was informed of this incident, and has also elected not to investigate. Remember when I said it gets worse? Jose Vicens has gone so far as to show a blatant lack of remorse for killing Andre, which he demonstrated in the great coloseum of our time, Myspace:
"Thanks for the shots and beer, you RULE!! Sucks about the paper and ***, but ya know none of that **** wont matter in 5 years Ahh that was fun, smoking hooka in the parking lot of Dunkin Donuts, people clapping for us, peeing on cop cars... priceless.... Oh, and I win"
"The paper" in question was the only article that ran about Andre's death.The other creepy thing learned through Vicens' Myspace account is that a lot of his friends are police officers. A more in-depth examination of this incident can be found over at Cars Suck.
So this past Sunday, Times Up organized a ride to Far Rockaway to pay respects at Andre's memorial and visit with his mother on Mother's Day. It was cold and cloudy, almost silent along the shore, the only noise seemed to be the rolling thunder of bikes on the wooden boardwalk. Andre's mother and family came out to talk about him at a small memorial on the grassy median of Shore Front Parkway. She then invited everyone back to her house and served up a huge meal of soul food for everyone. Before leaving, she also invited all the riders and their families back to her house for a BBQ in August.