Second Annual Bike Safety Day

In Memory of Joshua Franklin Palomares-Beckles March 24th 1999 &

In Honor of Officer George Reavis from the Winston-Salem Police Department


Joshua was born on a chilly spring morning on March 24, 1999 at 9:57 AM.  He was the oldest of three boys, Jacob (2001) and Johan (2004). He also had a half sister in California, Betsy Palomares, who was 15 years older than him. Joshua loved his big sister and little brothers very much, and they loved him too.


Joshua was named Franklin after his uncle, Franklin Beckles. On May 20th it was Tio (Uncle) Franklin’s Birthday, and Joshua was sad that he was not able to go to Texas to see his favorite uncle and celebrate his birthday.  At around 2:15 PM on May 20th Joshua said: “Mommy I want to buy you a bike for your birthday. Mommy, I want us to ride our bikes together. Mommy please why don’t you buy a bike today?” I told Joshua that we would go the next day after church. Joshua and I never got to buy a bicycle together because at around 7:00 PM a drunk-driver hit him while he was riding his bike in our neighborhood. The driver was driving on the wrong side of the road and did not see Joshua.  At 10:55 PM Joshua died at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center after sustaining a horrendous head injury.  The doctors tried but could not save his life.  Was he wearing a helmet? Yes! Joshua was wearing a helmet but the speed and size of the SUV were stronger than a 60 lb. 7 year old boy.


Joshua’s favorite toys were trains, his favorite color was green and his favorite number was 3. Joshua fell in love with trains. He would spend hours and hours playing with his trains. When he was 17 months old, he started attending the Creative Learning Center for Very Young Children, with Othella Johnson the Director, and Mrs. Jan Elkin, his very first teacher, whom he loved very much.  It was there that he developed a passion for drawing. They also reinforced his love for singing and playing musical instruments, something he learned from me. Joshua would draw everywhere we went.  He carried crayons, markers and paper in the car; he always wanted a notebook to draw in, or he would simply get computer paper and just draw trains and tracks all the time. Often you could not see the hardwood floors in our living room because of Joshua’s many drawings lying everywhere.  He also enjoyed drawing with his Dad and I think he got his artistic abilities from him.  His dad taught him how to draw cars and trains. Joshua was also very good in math. By April of 2006, he was already doing 3rd grade math on his own.  Joshua also enjoyed playing with Legos and blocks. He would build beautiful houses and buildings with them. He also liked to save money. He was saving money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. He truly cared about people; he would worry about his friends at school who had gotten in trouble.  He also had a very good sense of humor, he always made us laugh with the things he did and said. In one occasion his first grade teacher sent us a note home that said: “Rejoice because a gift has been given on to you”.  He was truly a gift in our lives.


Joshua was not perfect; often we tend to think our children are perfect, especially if they die before us.  But I know he was not perfect.  He was the oldest of three boys and had a hard time sharing his trains, especially “Henry” Engine #3 from Thomas the Tank Engine.  He had to learn to share his Mommy and Daddy, and later he also had to share his beloved train sets.


Joshua was in First Grade at The Arts Based Elementary School in Winston-Salem. He loved his teachers and school very much; he was always eager to go and learn something new. Joshua was also taking piano which he enjoyed too.  He also learned how to make puppets from papier-mâché.


Joshua had many hopes and dreams, he wanted to be a train conductor, a bilingual teacher on a train and an Architect and build tall buildings. He also wanted to obtain his PhD at Baylor University in Texas, just like his uncle. When he was three he told me he wanted to become a Daddy when he grew up. He said, “Mommy, don’t worry, when I grow up I will give you a granddaughter”.


As a grieving mother I wanted to do something to bring awareness about the importance of bike safety.  I want to prevent another child from going through what my child went through physically and emotionally.  I want to prevent families from going through the terrible pain and suffering my family has had to endure. I want parents to learn about bike safety and how children view traffic and I want parents to know that there are drunk drivers making decisions for us everyday. They decide to put our lives in danger when they drink and drive and unfortunately we don’t have control of that. 


On May 19, 2007 we celebrated our First Bike Safety Day at the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem with the assistance of the Winston-Salem Police Department Bike Patrol and Crime Prevention Units, under the leadership of Officer George Reavis.  We distributed 254 helmets on that day and we hope to have saved many lives.  Today, May 17, 2008, we are celebrating the Second Annual Bike Safety Day at the Gateway YWCA, in memory of my precious Joshua and in honor of Officer Reavis.  He was instrumental in the development of the first event and we would have not been able to do it without him. He helped make my dream of “Bike Safety Day” a reality.  On January 27th of this year, Officer Reavis had an accident and unfortunately sustained a brain injury. It is truly a miracle that he is still with us. We wanted the community to know how committed he was and still is to children’s safety. He was an inspiration for those of us that were fortunate enough to work with him on this project last year. I wanted to let his family know how much we appreciate his contributions to this cause and also to let him know that we have many “Bike Safety Days” ahead of us.  So, let us remember the life of my beautiful Joshua, and help me celebrate the life of Officer Reavis who is here with us today. 


Hayluri “Luly” Beckles (Joshua’s Mom)

3/24/1999 - 5/20/2006 
Officer Reavis
Officer George Reavis