After losing a close friend and watching her husband recover from a cycling accident, a Birmingham woman is making sure drivers are aware of the number of runners and cyclists on the road.
And it’s all starting with a magnet.
“Just one second and he was gone,” said Nitu Caplash, whose husband was killed while running. Caplash says it was like any other morning in 2011. Her husband, 38 year old Sundeep was getting up to train for the upcoming Mercedes Marathon.
“He got up that morning. He’s like, I have to go, even if it’s raining I need to get out and just run this one so that I can get a good time on my marathon,” Caplash said.
Sundeep left at 6 that morning. He was hit and killed by a car on Monclair Road.
“Wearing everything that he was supposed to wear. A bright yellow jacket, neon yellow jacket,” Caplash said.
The memories still sting for Nitu and her family. As well as Leslie Kelly.
“Everyone still has a whole in their heart obviously. It’s been a very challenging and difficult…he was a wonderful man. Very difficult man to lose,” said.
Kelly is a good friend of the Caplashes. Shortly before Sundeep’s death, her husband was also hit by a car. He was riding his bike.
“Shorty before that my husband was hit while he was cycling by a car,” Kelly said.
Those accidents prompted Kelly to create a magnet that reminds people to look out for cyclists and runners.
“I think this is a good constant reminder. If you see it again, like put your phone down, pay attention to what you’re doing. Don’t change the music station. There are people on the road, there are people who will die if you hit them on the road,” Kelly said.
Kelly started the magnet concept in May. Not only are they gaining attention locally but internationally. She’s been in talks with people in Europe thanks to social media.
These small reminders are even helping those who have been a victim themselves.
“They have agreed to help us rehabilitate someone who’s been injured by a car while running or cycling,” Kelly said.
While the small magnet will never bring Nitu’s husband back the small star reminder on the sticker and those who will benefit from the message and proceeds of them help in keeping her best friend’s memory alive.
“What has happened has happened with us. It’s already done and cannot be undone. But I think through her efforts we can save a lot of other lives.” Caplash said.