Memorial Bike Ride Held For Man Killed During SXSW
Updated: Monday, March 17 2014, 04:39 PM CDT
The pile of flowers is growing in bundle by the day at the memorial outside of Mohawk to remember the victims and those injured during the deadly South-by-Southwest crash Thursday morning.
A vigil was held for the two victims who died on a chilly Sunday afternoon in Austin.
Next to the memorial, dozens gathered today to honor 27-year-old Jamie West and 35-year-old Steven Craenmehr from Holland.
Bart Hendrikx called Craenmehr a close friend. Hendrikx said the two were listening to music together shortly before Craenmehr was hit on his bicycle, and Hendrikx remembers the last hug they shared that night.
"I wish I could have held him longer," Hendrikx said. "I've been in shock for two days. I didn't understand what happened."
Steven was an avid bike-rider. Next to where he took his last ride, the Austin organization called Be Kind to Cyclists mounted a ghost bike in his memory. Friends as well as complete strangers also set out on memorial ride.
With a sudden death like this it's almost like you find a new way to love and to give love to people," Hendrikx said. "I think death maybe brings us a little bit closer to each other, and this is what I feel from the city."
West's friends and co-workers were also there hurting and healing together.
Cally Hibbs worked with West for one year and said her and West were good friends.
"The world lost a good person the other day; just a really good person," Hibbs said. "It's been such a negative experience, but so much positive support has come out of it."
In one last tribute, the victims' loved ones planted seeds around the memorial to make sure their memories continue to grow even after the flowers fade.