Calls for change after 4-year-old girl killed while cycling with father in Oakland

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Calls for change after girl killed cycling with dad in Oakland
A rally and vigil was held in honor of 4-year-old Maia Correia, who died after ending up in a coma following a crash near Lake Merritt.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tears and trauma on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland.

On Wednesday afternoon, dozens gathered for a rally and vigil in honor of 4-year-old Maia Correia, who died last month after a crash near the intersection of Hanover and Lakeshore.

"She is a firecracker. Sassy, told you how she felt all the time," Maia's aunt Sheila McCracken said.

Maia was riding in a kids seat on her dad's bike when suddenly a driver in a parked car opened the door leading to a collision.

Maia fell to the ground and cracked her helmet.

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East Bay cyclists show solidarity after a string of recent targeted attacks causes over a dozen injuries.

After getting checked out by EMTs, Maia and her father went home.

Later, as her family kept an eye on her, she took a turn for the worse and ultimately ended up in a coma after a blood clot formed in her brain.

"We could keep her body alive but she would never know us," McCracken said. "She would never be able to receive our love anymore. And that the Maia we knew and the Maia we loved wasn't coming back to us."

As part of this rally, many are calling for change.

They want to see the city of Oakland do more to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

On the other side of the lake from where the accident happened, the bike lanes are protected and kept away from traffic. That's something that Maia's family, as well as many cycling advocates here in Oakland want to see all over the city.

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Police in San Jose have identified and arrested a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run over the weekend, the department announced on Monday evening.

Oakland officials tell ABC7 News they're working on plans to make this part of the lake safer.

Among other things, they say they'll be putting up better signage, as well as looking at options at repaving the street come 2027.

These are options that advocates say don't go far enough and quick enough.

"We're here to protect our children and the city has chosen not to in this moment, and this happens all the time," Justin Hu-Nguyen of Bike East Bay said.

As for Maia's family, they say they know nothing will bring her back.

They just want to ensure others don't have to suffer the same pain they are.

"I just want Maia's death not to be in vain, and something good to come out of it," said Maia's grandmother, Hydeh Ghaffari.

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