After enjoying New Year's Eve dinner at grandma's, 6-year-old Sofia Liu and her family headed home when they were hit as they walked through a crosswalk in the Tenderloin.
Sofia was killed. Her mother and 5-year-old brother were badly injured, but survived.
Tuesday would have been her 7th birthday.
A week after the incident, Sofia's mother, Huan Kuang spoke to reporters, explaining that the accident not only left her with broken bones, but a broken heart. Reeling from the loss of the young Sherman Elementary first grader, the community has stepped up and started a fundraising campaign to help Liu's family pay for a memorial service as well as other necessary costs.
Janet Kunze, whose son attended school with Liu, organized the campaign.
We spearheaded this campaign to help the Liu family, because we wanted to offer more than our condolences and emotional support. Sofia was a 1st grade classmate of my son's at Sherman Elementary and Sofia's younger brother, Anthony, who was also severely injured in the tragic incident, is a kindergartner in my daughter's class (also at Sherman). The family is low-income and only speaks Chinese. They are overwhelmed with grief and could not even plan for Sofia's funeral because they lacked the funds. They also needed help to pay for mounting medical costs and personal expenses. So we created this fundraising campaign to help them; the response from the Sherman Elementary community and the public has been wonderful. We've received donations from $5 to $500 and every dollar will go to help the family's needs.
So far, the campaign has raised more than $17,000 -- enough to cover the cost of a small funeral. The service will be held Jan. 23 at Evergreen Mortuary, 4545 Geary Blvd. (at 10th Avenue). The service is open to the public.
Police arrested 57 year-old Union City resident Syed Muzzafar, who has been charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. Muzzafar is a driver for Uber and claims he was driving around looking for a fare when he hit the family. However, the company claims he was not "providing services through Uber" at the time of the accident.
The community hopes to raise $25,000 for the Liu family; so open your pocket book and help. You can make a direct donation at any Wells Fargo branch to "The Sofia Liu Memorial Fund" (account #9153578845).