Drexel mourns loss of alumnus Jamal Morris

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Photo courtesy: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Drexel University Class of 2011 graduate Jamal Morris was struck by an unidentified hit-and-run driver April 16. The 27-year-old passed away on April 18 at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after he succumbed to his injuries. Morris’s family is asking that the driver turn themselves in.

“As a mom, I am pleading with the person who hit my son. I forgive you. So you need to know that I forgive you. Please come forward,” Morris’s mother, Channabel Latham-Morris, told The Inquirer.

A press conference with Captain John Wilczynski of the Philadelphia Police Department took place outside of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center April 19. At this conference, Wilcynzski stated that Morris was riding a red Chainboard bike when he was struck.

“It looks like seven people will get an organ from Jamal,” Morris’s mother said at the conference, referencing his status as an organ donor.

Morris received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel’s College of Engineering. He served as a piping designer at Amec Foster Wheeler and as a Temporary Recreation Aide at the University of Pennsylvania’s Pottruck Health and Fitness Center.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact the Accident Investigation District at 215-865-3180.

Drexel’s Counseling Center is available to any students who may need assistance dealing with the loss of Morris. Students can reach out to the counseling center by calling 215-895-1415 during normal business hours or 215-416-3337 outside of normal business hours.

Foundation created in memory of former Drexel Univ. student

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Channabel Latham-Morris two weeks ago received correspondence from the recipients of her son’s kidneys and pancreas. Three months ago she got a letter from the person who received his heart.

“Jamal also donated his left and right kidneys, liver and pancreas,” Morris said by phone Monday from her home in Warwick, N.Y. “He gave up his organs and tissues. He’s gone, but he’s still here.”

Today, April 18, marks exactly one year since Jamal C. Morris was killed while riding his red bicycle in West Philadelphia last spring.

Morris, a Drexel University graduate and mechanical engineer, was struck on April 16, 2016, while bicycling near 45th and Market Streets. He died two days later at age 27.

“This weekend and week is painful,” said Morris of the anniversary of the death of her only son. “This is the absolute worst pain of my life.”

The person who hit Jamal has never been caught, but his mom insists that the investigation is still ongoing and pointed to a $5,000 reward from Crime Stoppers for any information leading to the hit-and-run driver who killed him. No camera surveillance was available.

“I don’t want this to become a cold case,” Morris said. “They will not rest until something happens.”

Jamal was one of four bicyclists who lost their lives in Philadelphia last year, according to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. Morris has accompanied the organization to Harrisburg to lobby for bike safety bills.

This year in honor of her son’s memory, Jamal’s mother created the Jamal C. Morris Foundation, a non-profit organization designed to educate African-American students who are interested in majoring in engineering at Drexel, to advocate for people to become organ donors and to explain to young people the importance of wearing helmets when they are riding a bike.

Jamal graduated in 2011 from Drexel’s College of Engineering. He was a mechanical engineer with AMEC Foster Wheeler in the city and a part-time staff member at Penn Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I want to make this happen in my son’s name,” said Morris of the Foundation. “The goal is to send African Americans to Drexel to become engineers.”

To honor Jamal’s memory, a memorial service will take place at First District Plaza, 3801 Market St., May 6, at 1 p.m., followed by a scholarship luncheon at 2 p.m. Tickets are $100 and $75 for children under age 10. Morris is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, with whom she credits alongside her husband Hector Charlton Morris and family with helping her to be strong.

“The Foundation has set goals for itself, hoping to send promising African- American students to Drexel University School of Engineering to take part in the educational program that helped shaped Jamal Morris’ life,” his mom said.

Morris hopes to be able to make scholarships available to students within the next couple of years. For those who can’t attend the ceremony next month, a donation in any amount can be made.

If monetary donations are not an option, the effort urges the creation of biker awareness, contacting legislators to increase biker protection and rights, creating a bike buddy system, or becoming an organ donor.

“A year ago none of this was even a thought in my head,” Morris said. “A lot of activity is happening. Jamal came here for a short time, but maybe God took him so that I could be an instrument for change. Jamal was a gift to me.”

For more information, visit jamalcmorrisfoundation.org

A year after losing son to hit-and-run, mother mourns by helping others

 

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Courtesy of the Jamal C. Morris Foundation/for PhillyVoice Channabel Latham-Morris lost her only son to a hit-and-run in West Philadelphia in April 2016. Next month, the foundation she started in his memory will host a luncheon to help raise money to fund scholarships for African-American students who want to study engineering.

One year ago today, Channabel Latham-Morris’ only child was struck by a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bicycle near 45th and Market streets. Jamal Morris, 27, would die two days later after his organs were donated to those in dire need.

Her emotional wounds are still fresh to this day, and she knows they’ll never fully heal, even if the driver is eventually apprehended thanks to a $5,000 reward from Crimestoppers.

She’s tried to find comfort within her grief through a foundation named in her son’s memory that, among other things, raising money to fund scholarships for African-American youths who want to study engineering. Jamal had graduated from Drexel University in 2011 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

That he was struck while riding his bicycle in West Philadelphia explains the foundation’s support for the local Bike & Build program as well as bicycle safety and brain injury awareness efforts.

Jamal’s organs helped save the lives of strangers, and Latham-Morris has committed herself to speaking to African-Americans about the importance of organ donation, something she said is lacking in the community.

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Courtesy of the Jamal C. Morris Foundation/for PhillyVoice

On May 6, the foundation will host a Jamal C. Morris Memorial Scholarship Luncheon at 1st District Plaza (3801 Market St.) to raise funds.

The grieving mother spoke with PhillyVoice on Monday about the foundation’s efforts and what the past year has been like as she copes with unimaginable loss.

“I can’t even explain what it’s been like. I don’t see any change in terms of how I feel,” she said, tempering the knowledge that she’ll never see him again in this life with the hope that faith will reunite them some day. “What I’ve done is envelop myself in doing good. I’m just trying to keep myself so busy. A mother losing a child is no joke. Kids are supposed to bury their parents.”

Through the Gift of Life Foundation, she’s heard from the people who received Jamal’s donated heart, kidney and pancreas. From his death came some good.

“They’re grateful that he gave such a gift, and that brings me unbelievable joy and unbelievable pain,” she said on the phone from New York. “That they reached out to me means that part of him is still here. It’s just hard not having Jamal, knowing he’s gone, knowing I’ll never be a grandmom.”

In keeping busy, she’s visited churches to urge people to donate organs. The idea for the Jamal C. Morris Foundation – motto: “It’s Only Getting Better” – came from the days and weeks after his death, when people asked her where they should send donations.

When she settled on a plan that would help young African-American students “who would love to pursue a degree in engineering but could never go to Drexel,” the university’s president – “such an awesome person” – supported her idea.

Next month’s fundraiser – tickets can be purchased for $100 – will go a long way to support that scholarship effort, she hoped.

When asked what it’s like knowing the case remains unsolved, Latham-Morris again stayed positive.

“He can’t bring my son back, but coming forward could make a difference. It could touch someone who did the same thing, and have them come forward, too,” she said, acknowledging she has forgiveness in her heart. “Finding out who was driving won’t bring Jamal back, but at least we’d know who he is. Taking off like he did, that’s what I don’t understand.

“My life will never be the same. Losing a child changes everything.”


BIG WIN: Red Light Camera Legislation Signed into Law

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Our group of advocates on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol

A ten year extension of Pennsylvania’s Red Light Camera Program was signed by Governor Wolf today – and not a moment too soon.  The bill, which had been advocated for by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Channabel Latham-Morris, and other partner organizations, will keep the city’s 27 red light camera locations running for the next ten years, keeping our streets safer, and bringing more money to Philadelphia and other municipalities for safety programs.

The Automated Red Light Enforcement program (ARLE) is an important project, not just because of the money it generates for improvement projects, but because of the overarching goal: That there will eventually be no money gathered from the program once all drivers follow all the laws of the road.

As noted by Governor Tom Wolf earlier this year, this past fiscal year’s ARLE funds totaled $5.5 million, $2.8 million of which went to Philadelphia (roughly half goes to Philly, half gets doled out to the rest of the state).

Click here to read more about this year’s ARLE funds.

This is a big win for the people of Philadelphia, and of Pennsylvania. And it’s worth considering bills like this don’t just pass on their own.

The effort behind this particular legislation was, unfortunately, fueled by a tragedy.

Earlier this year, 27-year-old Philadelphia engineer Jamal Morris was tragically killed while riding his bicycle on Market Street in West Philadelphia. The driver fled the scene and still has not been found.

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His mother, Channabel Morris, later came to the Coalition and asked how she could help us make the streets safer for the city’s cyclists and help prevent future tragedies from happening.

Since then, Channabel has been hard at work, accompanying the Bicycle Coalition to the state Capitol, telling her story, and explaining to legislators from all over the Commonwealth why it’s so important to extend and expand the statewide red light camera program, create a photo speed enforcement program, and authorize the use of radar by local police.

We’ve gone to the Capitol with her twice. In that time, we met with legislators from all over the state, all of whom listened to Channabel’s story, and our research, and gave us an oral agreement that they felt this bill should pass, and they would support it.

We were backed up by AAA, whose government affairs liaison, Jana Tidwell, joined us on our first trip.

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Our group met with State Rep. John Taylor, who has been advocating for red light cameras for a decade.

Channabel has additionally begun a charity in Jamal’s name, dedicated to bicycle safety. 

During our last trip to Harrisburg in early June, we were joined by Latham-Morris’ family and friends, as well as members of Neighborhood Bike Works, and Jamal’s best friend, Bill Mahon.

As this was all going on, those advocates who could not make our trip to the Capitol signed onto an email campaign set up by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which sent emails straight to the inboxes of those State Senators who were in charge of advancing the bills for which we were advocating.

Our supporters and members collectively sent more than 200 emails to legislators all over the state, not only signing their names to this legislation, but sending a personalized letter explaining why they felt this legislation was so important.

Channabel Latham-Morris penned this op/ed for PhillyVoice about her advocacy work in Pennsylvania, published earlier this week.

It all worked. Here’s a screenshot from Gov. Wolf’s latest news feed, indicating bills signed on 7/20.

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The passage of Senate Bill 1267 is a big win for road users throughout Pennsylvania. But there’s lots more to do.

Though this bill is passed and will continue making our streets safer for individuals who use all modes of transit, it’s important communities continue advocating for additional red light cameras to calm traffic in their own neighborhoods. We will additionally be pushing for speed cameras at the state level, and a comprehensive Vision Zero plan at the local level.

The Bicycle Coalition thanks Channabel, Neighborhood Bike Works, Bill Mahon, and all the advocates who helped make this win possible. Additionally, thanks to State Senator John Rafferty, State Senator John Taylor and the other legislators who sponsored and voted for the bill in both houses this spring and summer.

We will continue to work on automated enforcement programs at the state level, and look forward to continue working with Channabel, who is a true inspiration to all of us here.

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Friends back home, victims in Philadelphia

First, it was Kevin.

Competitive and outgoing Kevin Kless, who played on the Warwick Valley Wildcats baseball and soccer teams. After graduation, he left his childhood home on Laura Lane in the idyllic town of Warwick, N.Y., population 32,000, to come to Philly.

He chose Temple University for its business program. He was 23 and was working a new job at a Center City environmental insurance firm in 2012 when three men beat him to death in Old City.

When his childhood friend Jamal Morris heard the news, he took to Facebook. Charming Jamal, who lettered in football, track, and wrestling for the Wildcats. He lived four houses down from Kevin on Laura Lane and was the same age. Kevin was the first friend he made when his family moved to Warwick from Queens. They played basketball in driveways and manhunt in the woods. Now, Jamal was in Philadelphia, too, at Drexel University for engineering.

“Losing a good friend only a few houses down for me is painful enough,” Jamal wrote on Facebook. “I can only imagine how painful it is for the family that lives in that house. Pray for them.”

Now the Kless family prays for the Morris family.

In April, Jamal, by then working here as a mechanical engineer, was killed in an unsolved hit and run at 45th and Market Streets. He was 27.

Two young men from the same street in a small town 125 miles away, dead on the streets of Philadelphia, five years apart.

On Monday, I spoke to Kevin’s mother, Kendall, for the first time since the sentencing of her son’s killers. She was searching for meaning in another senseless death, but found only chilling coincidence.

Her son was killed walking home from a night out with two young women. Three guys in a car jumped him. His attackers left him in the street to die.

Jamal was killed riding home on his bike. The person who hit him left him to die as well.

But what meaning can be found in these cold circumstances, other than that life in our city can be cruel, short, and random? And that grief takes many shapes.

And that grief can unite.

In the days after Kevin’s killing, Warwick rallied for the Kless family in large ways and small. Warwickians drove 2 1/2 hours to sit with the Klesses in court. The high school athletic director placed a memorial plaque in Kevin’s honor on top of the varsity baseball dugout.

Now, he plans one for Jamal on the football field.

For Kendall Kless, the pain and anger still come in waves. Sometimes, the waves drag her down and hold her under. Other days, she feels like she is bobbing in the water. Those are the good days.

She has visited the city of her son’s murder for the court hearings of his killers – and for events for the Gift of Life Donor Program. Kevin’s organs were donated.

She has no desire to return to Philadelphia for anything else. “I don’t care if I ever step foot there again,” she said.

She cried when she saw the news of Jamal’s death. For another loss in Philly. She still lives in Warwick, but no longer on Laura Lane. She has posted a condolence note to Jamal’s mother, Channabel Latham-Morris, but understands about giving space – the space she needed after Kevin. At the last moment, she could not bring herself to go to the funeral.

After Jamal died, Channabel cried and screamed and prayed for three days. Now, she keeps moving, trying to stay one step ahead of the pain. She prays to God for guidance.

“I am going to be in pain for a long time,” she said Monday by phone. “My thing right now is to bury myself in doing good for Jamal – so he will have a legacy left behind.”

When Jamal died after two days in the hospital, his organs were donated to the same organization that accepted Kevin’s.

She has started the Jamal C. Morris Foundation, which is dedicated to bicycling safety education – and to teaching young people healthy, holistic lifestyles, the career path that Jamal, who lived in the gym when he wasn’t working, wanted to pursue.

Since burying her son, she has accompanied the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia on two trips to Harrisburg to lobby legislators on bike safety bills.

Her grief, she said, comes in waves with the pain. Like Kendall’s.

Before hanging up, she asked for Kendall’s number. She said she was ready to talk.

Bicycle Coalition, Morris Family Take Our Message to Harrisburg

picture-768x352Jamal C. Morris was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle in West Philadelphia on April 17. The Drexel graduate and engineer died in the hospital just a couple days later. Police have still not found the person who killed him. Since that time, the Bicycle Coalition has been meeting with, and working with, Morris’ family and friends to make Philadelphia’s streets safe.

On Wednesday, members of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Neighborhood Bike Works, the Morris Family, and friends, visited the State Capitol where we met with members of the Philadelphia delegation to advocate for safer streets.

This was our second trip to the Capitol to advocate for safer streets since Channabel Morris contacted the Bicycle Coalition.

The group – 10 of us in total – were in the Capitol building around 9:30am and had set meetings with several senators in advance. All those meetings were with senators who can help move forward several bills which would make streets safer for all road users in Philadelphia; including a red light camera bill, a speed camera Pilot program on Roosevelt Boulevard, and a bill which would authorize local police to use speed radar. Here are the bills we are advocating for:

Senate Bill 1267: Extend Red Light Camera Program to 2027. Pennsylvania’s red light camera program is set to expire next year. This bill would extend it.

Senate Bill 1034: Photo Enforcement Program on Roosevelt Boulevard. This bill would create a pilot program to reduce speeding on Roosevelt Boulevard. Speeding currently accounts for a third of all traffic deaths in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

Senate Bill 535 and 559: Authorize Municipal Police to Use Radar. This bill would allow local police departments throughout Pennsylvania to use radar to catch drivers for speed. Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that does not give local police this World War II-era technology.

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Our group, alongside State Rep. John Taylor, who has been advocating for red light cameras for a decade.

Channabel Latham-Morris, Jamal’s mother, was incredibly strong while speaking to the senators with whom we had meetings.

Legislators Larry Farnese, John Sabatina, John Taylor and Art Haywood all graciously met with our group (or had staff meet with our group) and pledged their support of these bills.

Although Sen. Vincent Hughes did not have time for an official meeting, he was able to meet with Morris in the Capitol Building’s main lobby. Jamal’s hit-and-run crash took place in Hughes’ district.

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On a previous trip, we met with Republican Senate Leadership from all over the state, asking them to advance these pieces of legislation for Philadelphia. So, there’s been a lot of work leading up to this.

Now, we just need these bills to come up for a vote. That’s where you can come in.

Since our trip yesterday, the National Motorists Association has already contacted the state Senate with a fact-free message to note red light cameras do not work.

Think you can help out? It just takes a few seconds to use our tool and send an email to State Senate Leadership to make your opinion known on these issues. 

Email campaigns work — and the lawmakers in the Capitol should know how much support exists for these measures.

Jamal’s friends are additionally holding a fundraiser on Saturday to support the charity his family has set up in his name. All information and RSVP is here.

Advocates Call for Speed Cameras as Bike Deaths Rise in Philly

Hundreds of people are injured or killed in bicycle crashes each year in Philadelphia and summer is when accidents spike. Bicyclists are looking for new ways to protect themselves on the city’s streets, but their suggestions are not sitting well with some

Channabel Latham-Morris still vividly remembers the moment her life changed.

“It was Saturday morning,” she said. “Police came to my door.”

Latham-Morris soon learned the news. Her only son, 27-year-old Jamal, a Drexel grad, was struck and killed while riding his bike by a hit-and-run driver.

“Last night I’m in the house and I’m just roaring in tears,” Latham-Morris said. “I’m saying, ‘No, it’s Jamal! It’s my son that’s gone! I’m never going to see him again!'”

Jamal was one of the 11 victims of fatal bicycle-involved crashes in Philadelphia since 2015, according to Philadelphia Police Department records. That is significantly higher than the range of about 2-4 fatal bicycle crashes in prior years.

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Governor Wolf announces traffic safety grants using red light camera ticket funds

Earlier this week, Governor Tom Wolf announced the 6th round of Automated Red Light Enforcement (ARLE) funds: $5.5 million to 18 municipalities for 23 transportation enhancement projects.

Philadelphia received $2.8 million of those funds, which it will use on five projects, bringing the city’s grand total under the ARLE program to just under $23 million.

Of the five Philadelphia projects funded through this round, three are related to an ongoing initiative by the Streets Department and the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) to build a “smart” transportation system in Philadelphia, said Acting Streets Commissioner Mike Carroll. Those projects, totaling $1.275 million, will install fiber optic connections to the city’s traffic signals, to connect them to both the city’s and PennDOT’s traffic management centers and upgrade traffic management software. As the smart traffic signal network grows, the city will be able to remotely control traffic signals, adjusting timing to current traffic conditions—think longer green lights leaving the stadiums after a Phillies game, or to account for detours around construction—to improve flow.

Carroll emphasized that the improved traffic flows made possible by smart traffic signals could effectively increase a street’s total capacity. In other words, with the same number of lanes, it could handle more vehicles per hour than before. That flexibility could make it possible to implement other streetscape enhancements, such as improved crosswalks or bike lanes to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, without sacrificing automotive flow. Of course, such enhancements can already be made without reducing automobile numbers, as traffic counts on Pine and Spruce Streets have demonstrated.

The other two ARLE projects in Philadelphia will get $1.525 million for safety improvements: $525,000 for new LED street lights and $1 million for 30 to 50 traffic calming projects. The traffic calming projects will include a wide range of low cost interventions, noted Gus Scheerbaum, the ARLE coordinator at OTIS. Over the past few years, the city has used $4 million in ARLE funds for pavement markings, improved signs, speed cushions, signal improvements, and other minor improvements at hundreds of intersections.

In addition to being more energy efficient, LED lights are simply better than the old pressurized sodium lights, said Scheerbaum. “LED street lights allow a lot more clarity in someone’s perception of what they’re seeing at night,” said Scheerbaum.

According to PennDOT, the ARLE program has distributed a statewide total of $45.4 million since 2010. Currently the ARLE program is funded entirely by Philadelphia’s 122 red light cameras located in 28 locations across the city and administered by the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA). Since 2010, PPA red light camera revenues have totaled $82 million before expenses.

A 2012 amendment to the red light camera law authorized a 29 municipalities in addition to Philadelphia to install red light cameras, but so far only Abington Township in Montgomery County has. In Abington, the red light camera program costs more to operate than it makes, so it does not contribute funds to the ARLE transportation enhancement fund.

ARLE applications are reviewed by a eight-person panel with four members from PennDOT and four from Philadelphia. The ARLE law emphasizes that municipalities that operate red light cameras should receive priority over those that don’t.

Setting aside revenues, red light cameras have a mixed record as a traffic safety intervention: research shows that cameras tend to reduce right angle crashes at intersections (the t-bone crashes caused by a car running a red light), but increase the number of rear end collisions.  In Philadelphia, red light cameras have significantly reduced violations, according to a Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) research review. The TTI paper emphasized that red light camera deployment was most effective when incidents of red light violations, and appurtenant t-bone crashes, were highest. Elsewhere, the negative side effects—more rear end collisions—may outweigh the benefits.

ARLE funds can only be used for traffic enhancements such as new traffic signals, new lights, or intersection improvements. Maintenance projects, such as resurfacing or filling potholes, are not eligible.

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Armstrong: Ride of Silence to honor riders killed or injured by motorists

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ride of Silence – Art Museum, PA

IF LOSING a child is the worst kind of pain, then I can’t imagine the kind of gut-wrenching anguish Channabel Latham-Morris will be in Wednesday as she returns to the city where her beloved son, Jamal Morris, died.

The 27-year-old mechanical engineer with the bright smile and promising future was fatally injured April 18 in a hit-and-run accident while cycling in the wee hours near 45th and Market Streets. Morris, a 2011 graduate of Drexel University, was an avid cyclist, which is why Latham-Morris is scheduled to make the trek from Warwick, N.Y., to Philly.

Jamal Morris, the victim of a fatal hit-and-run in West Philadelphia.

Armstrong: Ride of Silence to honor riders killed or injured by motorists

She will light a memorial candle at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s annual Ride of Silence, an eight-mile trek that leaves from the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Wednesday night, beginning at 6:45. Morris is among 10 cyclists from the region killed by motor vehicles since last year’s commemoration. Bikers in Wednesday’s demonstration will have with them several “ghost bicycles,” white, pared-down two-wheelers in honor of the deceased cyclists. Similarly appointed cycles are sometimes left at the scene of crashes in memoriam to fallen riders such as Morris.

I can’t imagine what will be going through her head as she hears her son’s name announced, and listens as the circumstances surrounding his tragic accident are read aloud. Morris suffered massive head trauma in the collision, and was taken off life support a few days later. In Latham-Morris’ position, I would have a hard time maintaining my composure. But I suspect she will summon the strength, because in Morris’ tragic death, Latham-Morris has found a renewed purpose for living.

“At 27 years old, you look forward to weddings and grandchildren and all that,” she told me Saturday. “And some senseless person knocked him off his bike or hit him, however this accident happened … By the time he got to the hospital, it was too late for any survival.

“So my goal right now is to fight for my son, and to fight so that what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Latham-Morris explained. “And if there are measures that can be taken to prevent it, then we are going all in to make it happen.”

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In addition to speaking to participants at this year’s Ride of Silence, Latham-Morris plans to accompany members of the Bicycle Coalition as they make the rounds in Harrisburg, lobbying in support of several bills that they believe would help make the streets of Philadelphia safer for bikers. One of them is House Bill 950, which would extend funding for red-light cameras in certain areas.

“We have explained to Channabel that there is no way of knowing whether these [proposed] laws could have saved Jamal, but they are proven to slow down traffic, making streets safer,” wrote Randy LoBasso, Bicycle Coalition spokesman, in an email.

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You’ve got to admire Latham-Morris, who told me she planned to drive her husband and stepdaughter to Harrisburg on Wednesday and then back to Philadelphia. But then again, grief has a way of making possible things you didn’t even know you had in you.

Morris was Latham-Morris’ heart. Her only son. Born six weeks prematurely, a fighter from the beginning. He was reared in Queens, in New York City, before moving upstate. His mother made sure he had piano lessons, attended church regularly, and traveled to countries such as Japan and Australia. At Drexel, he became an avid cyclist.

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Morris, who graduated from college in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, worked as a piping designer for Amec Foster Wheeler, an international engineering and project-management firm. His last address was at 53rd Street and Market.

Perhaps he was headed home when he was fatally struck. We may never know what happened. No arrests have been made. There are no leads. (Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact the Accident Investigation District at 215-685-3180.)

Ride Of Silence