ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Anthony Dalle wears his mother's pendant around his neck in her memory.
His mother, 61-year-old Susanne Landino, was riding her bike with her friend, 53-year-old Bonnie Perry, on June 15 when they were killed in a hit-and-run crash on Race Track Road.
"She had energy. She wasn't ready to go," Dalle told News4Jax. "She thought she would go by cancer, not by an accident."
Dalle lives in Missouri, but he was in Northeast Florida so he could pick up his mother's personal items, including her cellphone and jewelry, that were at the crash scene from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.
He also made a memorial covered in flowers on a pole near the hit-and-run site. He believes it keeps his mother's memory alive, just like wearing her pendant and looking at photos of him and her on his wedding day. Even in death, he wants to make her proud.
"I am going to try to be more like my mom moving forward in life," Dalle said of Landino, who was also a grandmother. "She was a good woman and very caring to me."
Henry Haigler, the 37-year-old man accused of leaving the scene of the crash that killed the two cyclists, is charged with two counts of felony hit-and-run. He pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon.
"I couldn't leave. I'd want to help," Dalle said. "It takes a man to fix the problem that you started. These ladies were just out there, riding their bikes."
Dalle wants more change for bicyclists in the area. He wants the local bike lanes to be expanded to make it safer for other cyclists.
Landino's son said he will be back for Haigler's trial.
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