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Second ghost bike memorial unveiled in Calgary after fatal motorcycle crash

Click to play video: 'Ghost bike memorial for Kelly Ross'
Ghost bike memorial for Kelly Ross
WATCH ABOVE: For the second time in as many weeks, a so-called ghost bike has been placed along a Calgary roadway as a memorial for a motorcyclist killed on city streets. Michael King reports. – Oct 1, 2019

Dozens gathered along Peigan Trail on Monday night to remember 51-year-old Kelly Ross.

The Calgary father was struck and killed by an SUV on Sept. 23 at the intersection of Peigan Trail and 36 Street Southeast.

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For Ali Chehade, the founder of RidersYYC, it’s the second time in a month he’s mourned the death of a fellow rider.

“It’s depressing and it’s sad, especially seeing all the people that came out here,” Chehade said. “I couldn’t even make my speech today because it’s hard seeing everyone crying.”

Chehade organized the first ghost bike for a close friend who was also killed while riding in Calgary.

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He said the white-painted motorcycles serve as a roadside memorial that brings the community together in times of grief.

“You’re out there riding on two wheels, you got struck while on two wheels so in place of the cross we decided to do a white bike on their behalf,” Chehade said.

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Ross’s family didn’t know of the ghost bike program until his death when Chehade reached out.

Ashley Ross -– Kelly’s daughter — said the memorial highlights an important part of her dad’s life.

“My dad would have loved it,” Ashley said. “If he was here today he’d probably want to take it for a spin cause he really loved his bike. it was a big part of his life.”

Chehade hopes both ghost bikes raise awareness among Calgary drivers to look out for motorcyclists, and not drink and drive.

He said the unique memorials have already had an impact on the riding community.

“We’ve got two more [bikes] here in Calgary. We’re going to have them ready and in storage,” Chehade said. “Hopefully this doesn’t happen again, and if it does, we have these bikes all set up and ready.”
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