This site is dedicated to the memory of my son, Zachary Michael Cruz, who was born on March 12th, 2003 in Ventura, California. Zachary passed away unexpectedly on February 27th, 2009, just two weeks before his 6th birthday, when he was hit and killed by an automobile as he crossed the street in Berkeley, California.
I hope that Zachary's untimely passing never overshadows his beautiful and inspiring life. Zach was a truly remarkable kid. He was articulate, funny, smart, and curious. He was an enthusiastic kindergartner and he was a great big brother. He was curious and excited about the world and we had awesome conversations as he got older that continually surprised me—conversations about science, politics, sports, tech, history . . .
He loved The Beatles and I got to be his coach when he played t-ball with North Oakland/South Oakland Little League. Zachary liked baseball. Together we'd root for the Dodgers when they came to San Francisco and we both loved the Cal Bears, too. He built Legos, he watched Star Wars, and he was just learning to read on his own and play Nintendo Wii. But most of all, when I think of Zachary, I think of him as an awesome son. He was my pride and joy. And I continue to be blessed to be his father.
I hope this website will help Zachary’s old friends remember him. I hope it will help his new friends learn more about his life. I hope it will serve as a memorial to a young child who was loved by many. I hope it will raise awareness for pedestrian safety in general and the long road that bereaved parents and families face, specifically in the aftermath of the death of a child.
If you'd like, please feel free to leave us a comment. While people usually are, I would like to remind everyone to be kind and respectful when visiting Zachary's memorial site.
Over the years, lots of people have asked me, "What happened?" when they learn about my son's passing . . . If you'd like to read my account of Zachary's untimely and ultimately preventable death, please read more here.
Thank you for visiting and holding my son's memory in your heart right this moment. Be safe and don't forget, to quote one of Zach's favorite songs, that love is truly all we need!
Yours in remembrance,
1,000 Paper Cranes
My two sons and I pass Zachary's Corner every week, going to music class on Calremont Rd. One cannot read the site without tears falling. We have had a few near misses walking one block to school, Berkeley Arts Magnet, crossing Cedar at Milvia. Drivers are nuts. I claimed to want to throw rotten tomatoes at cars that drive through intersections while we are present. My yonunger child made me a cardboard prototype. We contacted th city transportation dept. and have the school and Safe Routes to schools involved, and yet, nearly every day, there are near misses. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤️
Nicky Haller-Wilson - January 6, 2016