CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Friends and family of a Charlotte man who was hit and killed by a car gathered back at the spot where the tragic event happened to memorialize his life and remember the man he was.
The ceremony involved the planting of a Japanese maple. FOX 46 was told it has a special meaning to the victim, Tran Tran, who was killed earlier this month at a Charlotte intersection.
FOX 46 had a chance to talk with his family about him and how he is having a lasting impact.
For many who attended the vigil, they came to pay tribute to the man they loved, whether he was family, or just a friend, they all knew Tran Tran, and in many ways, they all had their own message for him.
“It was an ‘I miss you dad. I miss you, I hope you’re doing well,'” his son Vincent Tran said.
Vincent says the last month has been filled with a lot of emotions and a realization that his father left an impression on everyone.
“It was such an eye-opener seeing all the people around.”
It was back at the beginning of July when CMPD said Waltavius Mims was driving too fast when he went off the road, hitting and killing Tran and his dog, who were walking on the sidewalk.
In the days following, there was a vigil and a makeshift memorial at the site where it happened. Now, there’s a permanent reminder.
“It’s a great thing to have the community there, instead of getting sick at the tragedy of what happened there, that they can see something nice,” family friend Linda Turner said.
FOX 46 spoke with her about the impact of Tran’s death. His is not the only one in this area this month, at the hands of an accused speeding driver, but patrols have been stepped up and there’s a sense that Tran is leaving a legacy that may make this community safer.
“They have started running patrols and handing out tickets so people know ‘hey, we’re going to be here,’” she said.
For his family, they have been overwhelmed by the support and now, their solemn location will take on a new meaning.
“He’s given back to so much of the community and he’s just a really important person to everyone,” Vincent said.
The man accused of hitting Tran, identified as Waltavius Mims, has been additionally charged with involuntary manslaughter in this case. He had been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and reckless driving. Detectives determined excessive speed was a contributing factor for Mims in the collision. Mims has since turned himself over to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.