HAYWARD, Calif. - On a busy street in Hayward, the family of 55-year-old Richard "Ricky" Leon Heard Jr. lit candles and laid flowers at the place where a hit-and-run driver killed him while he was on his bicycle.
The collision occurred around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, according to Hayward Police, but multiple family members attending the vigil for Heard on Friday said they believe it occurred between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. while on his way to work.
"He'd usually catch the BART and then he'd ride his bike to FedEx," Andrea Evins, Heard's partner said.
Heard was struck on West Tennyson Rd. between Tampa and Dickens Avenues, just across the street from a Jack-In-The-Box and a Shell gas station. Neither business had street-facing surveillance cameras.
Hayward police are looking for a dark-colored full-size pickup truck based on descriptions from witnesses.
"It doesn't make sense, at least they could have stayed and made sure he was ok or whatever. But to run him over and leave is just, like treating him like an animal," Perry Heard, Ricky's oldest brother, who traveled to Hayward from Kansas City, MO, said.
The family created a GoFundMe page to help accrue money to offer as a reward for anyone with information that can help identify the driver who killed Ricky.
Ricky Heard lived in Oakland and was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. He had four sons, two daughters, and seven grandchildren. Heard's father passed away the week prior to his death. His brother said he had a distinct and infectious laugh, and aimed to brighten people's day.
"You couldn't help but to love him, that's all you could do," Perry Heard said.
More than 500 Californians were killed last year in speed-related traffic collisions, according to the California Highway Patrol. It's the reason why, from Friday through Sunday, officers will be out in full force across the state, targeting speeding, distracted, and intoxicated drivers.
In Hayward, roughly one in every four car collisions in the last two years involved bicyclists. The city now has grant money to bring on bicycle enforcement officers, hoping that vigils like the one for Ricky Heard won't be as frequent.
"He brought smile, joy, laughter, anything you could think of," Perry Heard said.