'He was something else': Family reeling after grandfather killed by taxi
March 20, 2017 10:45 PM
The scene Downtown on Friday, when two pedestrians including Jaafar Bey were hit by a vehicle at Sixth Street and Liberty Avenue. Mr. Bey, 55, was killed; the other pedestrian suffered minor injuries.
By Shelly Bradbury / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Jaafar Bey likely was on his way to babysit his grandchildren Friday night when a taxi jumped a Downtown curb and ran over him, his brother said.
Mr. Bey, 55, split his time between his home in Carnegie and his daughter’s apartment in Pittsburgh, where he regularly watched her three children while she worked night shifts.
Jaafar Bey, 55, grew up in the city and played guitar and harmonica. He was killed Friday when a taxi veered toward a curb Downtown, jumped it, and ran him over.
A musician and a cook, Mr. Bey grew up in the city. He played guitar and harmonica and was outgoing, the life of the party, said Jamil Bey, his younger brother.
“He just made everybody laugh,” he said. “He was silly but clever, funny, over the top. He was something else.”
As the family wrestles with Mr. Bey’s death, police are keeping quiet about their investigation. A Veterans Taxi hit Mr. Bey and an unidentified 20-year-old man at 8:44 p.m. at Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street.
A witness said the sport-utility vehicle was traveling “fast” on Liberty when the taxi veered toward the curb, jumped it, and ran over Mr. Bey, who was coming from his mother’s house. He would typically catch a bus Downtown to go to see his grandkids. The second man suffered only minor injuries.
Police have not released the name of the taxi driver or said whether the driver will face criminal charges.
The driver did have a valid license, police spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
She could not say how fast the taxi was going and declined to comment on whether the driver offered an explanation for the crash, citing the ongoing investigation.
Police told Mr. Bey’s family that officers are conducting a “criminal investigation,” Jamil Bey said.
Vetaxi, the company that operates Veterans Taxis, did not return multiple requests for comment on Monday. Messages left at Vetaxi’s parent company, Star Transportation Group, were not returned.
On Saturday, Jamil Bey told his brother’s 5-year-old grandson that his grandfather was dead. The boy didn’t really understand. But Jamil Bey expects the news to hit the boy’s 7-year-old sister harder. She was visiting her father when the crash occurred and still doesn’t know.
“I mean, 7 years old, can you imagine your grandfather is [there] all the time?” he said. “And he cooks and plays music? That’s magic.”