PHOENIX - A beloved Downtown Phoenix Ambassador was remembered at a vigil on Saturday night.
Police say Hans Hughes was hit while riding his bike on Aug. 20 at 1st and Fillmore Streets in downtown Phoenix. They say the person behind the wheel was cited for driving under the influence.
Weeks later, he showed signs of improvement. In a Sept. 6 Facebook post, Hughes’ sister said he was awake, responding and off a ventilator. But over the weekend, close friend and former co-worker, Lauren Potter, said in a GoFundMe post his condition rapidly declined, and says his heart stopped for more than 20 minutes before he was resuscitated.
He passed away Sept. 21 at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.
On Sept. 25, dozens of candles lit up downtown Phoenix, in honor of one of the biggest lights the area has known.
Hughes traveled on his bicycle to and from work and while on the job. He worked as a Downtown Phoenix Ambassador for nearly 12 years, helping people on the street with directions to events, venues and assisting the public in other ways.
"Anytime I would see him out in downtown just walking about, we'd always gravitate toward each other. He'd always ask if he could walk me wherever I was going and we'd just talk," Simone Yavar said.
"He was a really big part of the community so it's a really hard loss," Kristin Paystewa said.
Throughout the night, friends and family shared stories about Hughes.
While he may be gone, their goal moving forward is to keep his light and legacy alive by continuing to treat others with love and kindness. Just like how Hughes lived his life.
"The message is just to keep his love and light and bright that out and be a beacon for it to other people," Yavar said.
Funeral services are pending.
If you'd like to help with medical and funeral expenses, please visit the family's GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/help-hans-hughes-heal-medical-living-expenses
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