Street memorial for Zachary Cole
Street memorial for Zachary Cole

I drive by the intersection of Warring and Derby several times a week and I am always struck by the flowers, balloons, and cards set up at the spot where 5-year-old Zachary Cruz was killed in February.

I do not know if it is his parents, his family’s friends, or just members of the broader community who place all of the loving tributes.  And at times I wonder if there isn’t a more appropriate — and by that I mean happier — spot to commemorate his life.

But the flowers do force me to remember Zachary Cole, who died while walking with  other children from LeConte Elementary to an after-school program at the Clark Kerr campus. He was hit by a truck taking a left hand turn from Warren onto Derby.

It seems like such an innocent intersection. There is a four-way stop and cars don’t tend to travel fast on the road. Yet clearly it is not. When I drive by I am reminded that life can grab the ones we love quickly, without any warning.

In recent days, someone has set a bright orange pumpkin decorated with Zachary’s name on the spot where he died.  Halloween is Saturday and clearly the donor is thinking that Zachary would have enjoyed the holiday.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...