OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Tears and trauma on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland.
On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people gathered for a rally and vigil in honor of 4-year-old Maia Correia, who died last month after an accident near the intersection of Hanover and Lakeshore.
“She’s a firecracker. Sassy, I told you the whole time how she felt,” Maia’s aunt Sheila McCracken said.
Maia was sitting in a child seat on her father’s bicycle when suddenly a driver of a parked car opened the door, causing a collision.
Maia fell to the ground and broke her helmet.
VIDEO: East Bay cyclists show solidarity after a series of recent attacks left more than a dozen injured
After being examined by paramedics, Maia and her father returned home.
Later, as her family watched her, she got worse and eventually 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 could never receive our love again. And that the Maia we knew and the Maia we loved would not come back to us.”
As part of this gathering, many are calling for change.
They want the City of Oakland to do more to protect cyclists and pedestrians.
On the other side of the lake where the accident occurred, cycle paths are protected and kept away from traffic. It’s something Maia’s family, as well as many cycling advocates here in Oakland, want to see around the city.
VIDEO: Arrest made in hit-and-run that killed mother and dog and injured daughter, SJ Police say
Oakland officials told ABC7 News they are working on plans to make this part of the lake safer.
Among other things, they say they will install better signage and look at options to repave the street by 2027.
These are options that their advocates say don’t go far enough or fast enough.
“We are here to protect our children and the city has chosen not to at this time, and it happens all the time,” said Justin Hu-Nguyen of Bike East Bay.
As for Maia’s family, they say they know nothing will bring her back.
They just want to make sure others don’t have to suffer the same pain as them.
“I just want Maia’s death to not be in vain and something good to come out of it,” said Maia’s grandmother, Hydeh Ghaffari.
If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live
USA News Gb1