Tree planted at Loreto Playground in memory of handball player killed in 2015
Seven years have passed since a driver struck and killed Kristjan Leka and two other Bronx residents. Leka's loved ones gathered Tuesday in the Bronx to remember him where he often played handball.
Leka was out on Halloween 2015 with his girlfriend and little sister when a driver lost control of their vehicle and hopped the curb, crashing into the crowd of trick-or-treaters.
It was later discovered that the driver had a seizure during the crash and had not been taking his epilepsy medication. He was eventually sentenced to four to 12 years in jail. Leka’s friends and family say he was known in the Bronx handball community as a great player and an even better friend.
The 24-year-old's loved ones added there were many things Leka wanted to accomplish before his life was tragically cut short. His family planted a tree dedicated to Leka's life by the handball courts inside of Loreto Playground.
Losing him hasn’t gotten easier over the years, but the tree is a way to keep his legacy alive and symbolizes that his memory lives on.
His friends plan to host their annual handball tournament in his name in 2023.