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'Ghost Bike' memorial for DC cycliest killed in hit and run

A passionate bike rider was remembered today, three weeks after dying in a hit and run.

A passionate bike rider was remembered today, three weeks after dying in a hit and run.

Burgess Johnson, 53, was riding to the store on June 30th.

He was making a left turn in the intersection of Eerie St and 29th St SE when a car struck him.
The driver of a silver car got out, took a look at Johnson as he was fighting for his life, then drove away.

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Doctors told the family he lost 90 percent of his brain function in the accident.

“There was no chances of him surviving. None.” Said Johnson’s sister, Valerie Logan.

After three weeks in the hospital, the family took Johnson off life support.

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Terrance Moore, Johnson’s nephew, said community members knew Johnson as a passionate cyclist and builder of bikes. ‘They’ve taken a very loving man from us, a handyman, my uncle.'

The family is pleading with the person responsible to come forward. Logan said the family is struggling day by day to come to terms with their loss. They are looking for closure.

“It’s not like sometimes you hit an animal, and they continue to go. This is a human that was left on the street to die,” said Logan.

The family and bike advocates held a memorial Saturday to erect a ghost bike in Johnson’s name. Ghost bikes are painted all white as a reminder to passerby that someone was killed while riding. The bike will be locked in place at the intersection of the crash.

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Greg Billing, Executive Director Washington Area Bicyclist Association said bike services are lacking in the city’s wards 7 and 8. There are no bike shops to help cyclists keep their bikes running in a safe condition. And of the 70 miles of bike lanes in the district--a small fraction are east of the river. Billing said bike lanes do save lives.

“Streets are designed more for heavy speeds and high-speed traffic. And it’s just kind of a deadly mix. It's about preventing these fatalities in the future,” said Billing.

Johnson’s family is also fundraising to help cover the funeral costs with Gofundme.