RIDGEWOOD, Queens (WABC) -- A collection of advocates, community members, and elected officials rallied for pedestrian safety in Ridgewood, Queens Wednesday night.
Crowds came to honor 75-year-old Be Tran after a speeding vehicle collided violently, claiming his life as he was finishing up his last food delivery for the night.
The driver took off, leaving him there clinging to life.
"He was not able to fulfill his dream of returning to Vietnam or reunite with his family members or to spend his remaining years seeing his children flourish even further," business owner Adrian King said.
King owns a business in front of where it happened. He held Tran as help arrived.
"I ran, tried to get the license plate to no avail, couldn't. I went to the scene, it was chaos," King said.
But it would be too late.
"We don't know when we're going to go home to our loved ones or not," King said.
They say changes at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Hancock Street would be a way to honor Tran's life.
"Five days prior three individuals were critically injured by another hit-and-run driver at Wykoff and George," said Jamie Scotto from the Ridgewood Tenants Union. "A 35-year-old delivery driver, a 28-year-old mother and her 2-year-old child."
"We have been calling for traffic mitigation at this specific intersection for over a year and a half," said Michael Gianaris of the State Assembly. "The communities know the dangerous intersections, we alert the city to that fact. But they are just too slow to react. They wait for people to die before they put traffic lights and stop signs in place."
The Department of Transportation remains committed to continually improving pedestrian safety in Ridgewood, including over 20 traffic control approvals in recent years.
"The circumstances of this tragedy are terrible, and we join the community in mourning the loss of Mr. Tran following this hit and run. We will study this Ridgewood intersection for potential safety improvements," the DOT said in a statement.
Meanwhile, police are still looking for the driver behind the wheel.
Witnesses say it was a black-colored BMW that mowed Tran down.
Construction is set to begin in Summer 2023.