The legacy of former Downtown Phoenix Ambassador Hans Hughes is still being felt across the community. His friend, Lauren Potter, misses him each and every day.
“I think about all the positive memories of Hans and the impact he had on the world and our community,” says Potter.
Hans was riding his bike last summer when he was hit by a suspected drunk driver at 1st and Filmore streets.
The responding officers first documented that the car failed to yield at the stop sign but later indicated the car did stop, according to the passenger and a witness. The conclusion of the crash investigation states:
“Taking in its totality, this case does not meet the elements of vehicular manslaughter or a charge for causing serious injury or death by a moving violation, because there is no video or witnesses to support a moving violation was committed.”
The driver was instead charged with DUI. Hughes’ sister also spoke with ABC15.
“For about a year now, we’ve had anger, you know, along with our grief about this terrible incident. So, my initial reaction, and I think my family’s, was a little bit of disbelief,” says Hana Kuykendall.
She says that feeling has since turned into a sense of relief.
“Hearing that he actually stopped and called for help, it was a relief. He could have very easily driven away in the circumstance that he was in, but he didn’t. He chose to stop and help — that was a gift given to my family,” says Kuykendall.
The police documents go on to say there is no data indicating whether the bicyclist stopped for the stop sign or not. There are still a lot of unknowns.
“It doesn’t feel fair, but I know not everything in life is fair. But Hans deserved more, deserves more,” says Potter.
After his death, people across the Downtown Phoenix community rallied for safety improvements, which can now be seen along Fillmore Street. Kuykendall is forever thankful for those who have been there.
“I just want to say… the Phoenix community, his friends, his work family — they’ve been so supportive, and it’s been very therapeutic… and a good thing talking to them and going through this together,” says Kuykendall.
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Police documents detail crash that killed Downtown Phoenix Ambassador – ABC15 Arizona in Phoenix