Leonard Cunningham, 33, was struck and killed by a vehicle Friday, Jan. 14 while crossing Balboa Avenue in the Clairemont area of San Diego. Friends and family of the victim have come forward to the press to share and celebrate the life of their late friend.
“He had so much love for everybody, and anyone who met him just felt it immediately,” said Patti Tran, friend and roommate to Cunningham. “He would always say, ‘you only have one life to live, so you might as well live it up.”
Cunningham was a preschool teacher who aimed to mentor children from broken families. Known for his kindness and big smile, Cunningham was a good citizen that contributed time and effort to improve his community. As news broke of the tragic accident, the community united to find justice in the case.
A breakthrough in the hit-and-run car accident case occurred Saturday when a local woman living in the area called police and alerted them to a car parked in her apartment complex that showed front end damage and a broken windshield.
The driver of the damaged vehicle, Hamza Eweedah, 20, was arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of a car accident.
Cunningham was crossing the street to fill a jug of water, according to Tran. He crossed an area of the road commonly used by other residents of the Barclay Square apartments where the two lived.
Tran described him as a “gentle and charismatic soul” who had a natural love for life and many friends. While the community mourns Cunningham, police efforts in the case are underway.
Cunningham was a project manager at Oracle Corp., and was a dean’s student at Mesa College.
“I know in the love of his friends and family he’ll live on forever,” Tran said.
Pedestrian safety: 3 essential safety tips
Ensure your safety as a pedestrian and follow these 3 essential safety tips to avoid accidents.
1. Always use a crosswalk. Even if it’s out of your way, you should always go the extra effort and use a crosswalk since it will protect you as a pedestrian more than any other mode of crossing a street.
2. Look left, right, and then left again. Just like turning right while driving, always look left, right, and left again to ensure no cars are approaching you. You never know when a driver will turn onto the street and “appear out of nowhere.” Be on the safe side, and look before crossing.
3. Make eye contact with an approaching vehicle. Try to get acknowledgement by communicating with the driver using eye contact. If the driver is distracted or not paying attention and you are unable to make eye contact, don’t risk it. Wait until the road is clear to pass.
If your loved one was involved in a fatal pedestrian accident, or if you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run car accident, San Diego attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael Pines can evaluate your legal case free of charge. Call us at 1-800-655-6585 or contact us online.