The Nuri family, shattered from the deaths of Soliman Nuri, 41, and his daughter Hadessa Nuri, 9, attended a candlelight memorial to highlight the dangers of distracted driving at the State Capitol Monday evening.
The Sacramento event was held by Impact Teen Drivers and the California Highway Patrol to address the dangers of distracted driving and the importance of safe driving education for teens. The event’s organizers said the vigil was held to add real faces and families to the statistics and show how families are affected.
Impact Teen Drivers’ executive director Kelly Browning invited the Nuri family after reading about the accident in the news.
Soliman Nuri and his daughter Hadessa Nuri driven by a 17-year-old. The father and his two daughters, Hadessa and Hannah Nuri, 12, were on their bicycles on the way home from the park. Hannah was injured, but survived the accident.
Tim Karimi, Soliman’s brother-in-law, said the family is still in shock.
“It was a very tragic incident for the whole family, especially for his wife and young daughter that he left behind,” Karimi said. “I think it’s very wonderful that everyone came here for a remembrance and took the time to do this, and we appreciate it.”
( held in honor of the victims in Concord two days after the accident.)
Karimi said his niece Hannah has been waking up every night with nightmares.
“She witnessed the whole thing,” he said. “Her father and sister died right in front of her.”
Nuri family members wore purple T-Shirts with photos of Soliman and Hadessa Nuri in remembrance. They chose purple because it was Hadessa’s favorite color.
This is the first time Impact Teen Drivers has held a public memorial. Browning said she wanted this event to be a learning tool, and that she has confidence that teenagers will make better decisions if empowered to do so.
“We want to change the culture, to put a face on statistics,” Browning said. “It’s a lot harder if you put a face on it to ignore it.”
Though , the police officer investigating the case, Ken Carlson, attended the event.
“I was made aware of the program and thought it was good to get the word out,” Carlson said.
Carlson said a difference is made even if it impacts one or two teen drivers, and can help prevent another tragedy. He also highlighted the importance of educating parents on the dangers of distracted driving.
“[The accident] sparked a lot of attention in this topic and driving behavior in teens,” Carlson said. “This is a preventable thing. This should have never happened.”
Carlson could not discuss the any details of the investigation. The Nuri family said they believe in the justice system and the police investigation.
“I want to thank the whole community for their support,” Karimi said. “The whole community has been very supportive and the Concord Police Department for their hard work and dedication to this investigation.”