S.I. Anti-Violence Advocate Killed in Motorcycle Accident
Candles stand at the corner of Fingerboard Road and Bay Street, honoring the life of Michael Hines.
The 53-year-old was riding his motorcycle down Bay Street when a truck driver headed in the other direction tried to turn left into a nearby gas station and struck him. Police say was unconscious and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
“I, I still can't grapple with the fact that he's not with us. He's physically not with us. His legacy is our gift," said Leah Bennett, Hines’ Childhood Friend.
"When you hear about 'OG's,' he was like an 'OG,' like the guy who you knew had it tough growing up but can, can, can tell the stories," added Bobby Digi, a co-founder of Occupy the Block. Digi worked with Hines to combat gun violence.
Hines' co-workers said he had a 'rough upbringing.' And, in his early twenties, he was incarcerated.
"The one thing I that admired the most about Mike Hines, my brother Malik, is how he was able to transform his life and then use that transformation to change other people's lives," said Felix Polanco, a hospital responder supervisor at True 2 Life, who worked with Hines.
"He'll be missed man. I don't know how we replace Mike Hines," said Mike Perry, a program supervisor at True 2 Life.
"Instead of running away from problems when there were issues of gun violence, he went to it,” said City Councilwoman Debi Rose
He had a reputation for cleaning up the streets, and lifting up the spirits of those around him.
"When he step in the room, the room brightens up.... funny, funny guy. You know always making light of a situation, " Perry said. “Staten Island, we lost a hero man," he added
Friends say Hines leaves behind a wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.
Meanwhile, the driver who hit him, Jesus Santiago, was arrested and charged for driving without a license.