More than 150 mourners gathered in Antioch today to honor the memory of Concord resident Solaiman Nuri, 41, and his 9-year-old daughter, who were struck and killed by an SUV while riding their bikes in Concord Saturday morning.
Dozens of family members, friends and community members braved wet
weather to attend the funeral service and burial at Oak View Memorial Park on
East 18th Street this afternoon for the father and daughter, who were killed
when a 17-year-old Concord boy speeding down Treat Boulevard lost control of
his SUV and struck them.
Nuri died at the scene and his daughter, Hadessa, died a short time after being taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, police said.
The driver, who was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's office is awaiting results of a full police investigation before deciding whether to file charges, police said.
Today, memorial attendees shared prayers and listened as a local mullah paid tribute to the father and daughter and reminded attendees not to take their loved ones for granted.
"As much as you prepare yourself for something like this, you're never prepared," said Emal Karzai of the tragic deaths of his brother-in-law and niece.
Karzai spoke on behalf of his widowed sister and 12-year-old niece, who had joined her father and sister for a bike ride Saturday morning but suffered only minor injuries in the collision.
Neither Nuri's wife or his surviving daughter took part in today's memorial. "It was just too much for them," Karzai said. Both, however, attended a candle-light vigil at the Treat Boulevard location of the accident Sunday.
Relatives and friends traveled from throughout the state and the country to be at today's memorial, which was set to continue at the Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq mosque in Hayward, said Malalai Ali, Nuri's cousin.
Those of Nuri's friends and family members who spoke to reporters after the memorial service all agreed -- the 41-year-old was one of the kindest, most positive people they'd known -- a man whose life centered around his family and community service.
"He was a great human being," said Zaki Sahar, who coached soccer alongside Nuri at the Aria Sports Club, a nonprofit organization in Concord serving local Afghan youth. "He was patient, he always had a smile...if you gave him a job to do, he went above and beyond it."
Family members also spoke about the special bond between Nuri and Hadessa, whom Karzai said "wouldn't go anywhere without her dad - she was a daddy's girl."
When asked about his reaction to the release Tuesday of the teenage driver who allegedly killed Nuri and his daughter, Karzai said the family just wants to hear the truth about what happened Saturday morning.
"We know that justice will prevail because the truth will come out," he said, adding that the family appreciates the outpouring of support from community members -- many of them complete strangers.
Requests from family, friends and the community about how to help prompted the family to establish the Solaiman and Hadessa Nuri Memorial Fund earlier this week, Karzai said.
- by Bay City News
Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank to the "Solaiman and Hadessa Nuri Memorial Fund." The account number is 3268148529.
Click here to see Bay Area News Group photographs of the funeral service.