2008-09-26 / Top Stories

Anderson Remembered In Prayers And Song

By Miriam Rosenberg

Naomi Renek and Ryan Kuonen decorate a white bicycle, a memorial to Andre, with sunflowers. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Naomi Renek and Ryan Kuonen decorate a white bicycle, a memorial to Andre, with sunflowers. Photos by Miriam Rosenberg Friends and family gathered at Beach 77 Street and Shore Front Parkway last weekend to remember Andre Anderson, 14, who was hit by an SUV as he was riding his bicycle at that spot four years ago. Coming together at a permanent memorial for the boy on September 20, they remembered him as a loving and kind young man.

Anderson died on August 21, 2005 when a Lincoln Navigator, driven by Jose Vincens, struck him as he was peddling his bike down the middle of the eastbound lane of the parkway near Beach 77 Street.

Reports at the time said that both the driver and Anderson tried, without success, to avoid each other. Vincens, who did not flee the scene of the accident, was not charged with any crime.

A memorial flowerbed sits on the median at Shore Front Parkway and Beach 77 Street. Behind it is another memorial of a white bike, in memory of Andre, installed by a group of cyclists. Since the accident, bicycle lanes have been put on Shore Front Parkway. A memorial flowerbed sits on the median at Shore Front Parkway and Beach 77 Street. Behind it is another memorial of a white bike, in memory of Andre, installed by a group of cyclists. Since the accident, bicycle lanes have been put on Shore Front Parkway. Garnishes are placed around the flowerbed prior to the ceremony. Garnishes are placed around the flowerbed prior to the ceremony. Mourners circled the flowerbed, which was adorned with a new picture of Andre. The artwork was done by Christopher Cardinale, second from right, and was installed the morning of the ceremony. Mourners circled the flowerbed, which was adorned with a new picture of Andre. The artwork was done by Christopher Cardinale, second from right, and was installed the morning of the ceremony. Andre's cousin, Tameka Swaby, center, sang once during the ceremony and a second time as mourners placed roses in the flowerbed. Andre's cousin, Tameka Swaby, center, sang once during the ceremony and a second time as mourners placed roses in the flowerbed. As friends and family stood in a circle around the memorial flowerbed, cars passed by, some slowing down to look at the proceedings on Shore Front Parkway. As friends and family stood in a circle around the memorial flowerbed, cars passed by, some slowing down to look at the proceedings on Shore Front Parkway. Michelle Griffith, right, reads a passage from the bible as Andre's mother and father stand solemnly by. Michelle Griffith, right, reads a passage from the bible as Andre's mother and father stand solemnly by. Through her tears, Andre's mother Audrey said, "Andre was pure love. If given the opportunity to live, he would have been a great young man. He would have contributed to the world greatly." Through her tears, Andre's mother Audrey said, "Andre was pure love. If given the opportunity to live, he would have been a great young man. He would have contributed to the world greatly." Friends and family gather to remember Andre Anderson four years after his death. Friends and family gather to remember Andre Anderson four years after his death. Andre's brother, Clive, is comforted as a cousin, Monique Swaby, stares at the memorial, lost in thought. "God took one half of me," said Clive Anderson. Andre's brother, Clive, is comforted as a cousin, Monique Swaby, stares at the memorial, lost in thought. "God took one half of me," said Clive Anderson.

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