‘You wouldn’t have forgotten her’: Parents remember daughter killed riding her bike to school
Irie Suarez, 10, died after she fell into traffic on Ranch View East
SAN ANTONIO – Described as a vibrant, young girl, the parents of Irie Suarez are still trying to cope with the loss of their only daughter.
Irie, a 5th grade student at Kallison Elementary, died after she was hit by a vehicle while riding her bike on Ranch View East near Remrock Valley Thursday.
“If you would have met her she would have touched your heart," her mother, Chantelle Suarez, said.
Late last year, the family settled in Far West Bexar County after living in different parts of the world. Irie’s father served in the United States Air Force as a flying crew chief of the Very Important Person Special Air Missions.
Being new to the neighborhood, her father made sure the area was safe enough for Irie to ride her bike to and from school, which is less than two miles away from their home.
He said he never expected there would be a problem.
“If anything, I thought it was one of the safest areas because the side walk is so wide,” he said.
Both of her parents remain shocked that Irie died doing something she loved.
"My daughter had no problem riding that bike. She loved that bike. She wanted that bike,' said her father.
Last week, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office said a heavy backpack may have caused Irie to lose her balance and fall into traffic, but no official cause has been determined yet.
However, her death has led many in the area to push for change. An online petition was created demanding the county install barriers on Ranch View East to protect cyclists and pedestrians. It has gained more than 3,500 signatures.
The county said it has received the petition and plans to examine the area after BCSO completes its investigation.
“If that saves anybody then it’s worth it,” said her father.
Suarez described himself as a “girl dad," the same phrase used by NBA star Kobe Bryant. Suarez said the death of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, made him more conscious of the special bond between a father and his daughter.
“I had hugged Irie so hard that day. That hit me hard. I just thought about it. What if?” he said.
Irie’s parents said she had the ability to light up any room with her personality.
“You wouldn’t have forgotten her. You can’t forget her,” she said.
A memorial walk will be held outside Kallison Elementary School on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 9 a.m.
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