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Anonymous 'ghost bike' placed to remember bicyclist killed in South Grand Boulevard hit-and-run

Ghost Bikes, founded in St. Louis, are small memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street.

ST. LOUIS — Police are still searching for the Kia driver who hit and killed bicyclist Danyell "Starr" McMiller on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 6 near Tower Grove Park in south St. Louis. 

Danyell's family still wants justice and changes made to the bike lanes at Grand Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue where he died.

"Starr is gone, and the bike lanes are still here," his uncle, Larry McMiller said.

The driver of the Kia swerved out of the passenger lane, into the bike lane and hit Danyell. It knocked him into several other cars before he died. The driver left the scene.

But now Danyell's family has a reason to come back to the place that took his life, and a reason to remember it. Danyell's family found a tribute to his life, known as a ghost bike, at the site of his death.

"It symbolizes places where people have been struck by cars and in some cases killed by cars," Larry said. 

But every second he grieves is a second he wants change for bikers in the area.

"The bike lane goes in the direction of traffic, so the biker has no idea they're about to get struck," Larry said.

One of the main causes of concern about using the bike lane along South Grand Boulevard is how close it is to traffic with little separation.

Larry says painted white lines are not enough. He wants concrete barriers, wider lanes, and anything else to prevent another death like his nephew's. 

Although Danyell is gone, his family is grateful for a ghost bike filled with reminders of him, so that his memory will ride on.

"He was very ambitious, and he was just an all-around good guy."

The McMiller family told 5 On Your Side they still don't know who placed the ghost bike there, but they hope it's a symbol that saves lives in the future.

The Kia that hit and killed Danyell was described as a four-door sedan without license plates.

Resources for hit and run victims:

If you have been a victim of a hit and run or know someone who has been, 5 On Your Side has compiled a list of resources.

  • The Crime Victims' Compensation Program provides financial assistance to victims who have suffered physical harm as a result of violent crime. The program helps victims' dependents in the case of death. 
  • Enjuris can help connect you with support organizations, help answer your questions, and provide a wide range of legal resources. They also show you what to do if you've been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Missouri. 
  • If you or someone you know is interested in legal options, visit one of the several local law firms in St. Louis and Illinois. Expertise can help you search for legal assistance at fair compensation. You can contact St. Louis-based lawyers today for a free case review and consultation on pedestrian, car, and personal injury accidents. 
  • You can also visit the Missouri Department of Transportation to get more information about traffic safety to help be aware of traffic regulations, safe zones, and more. For more details, please contact Highway Safety and Traffic at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT.

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