When the Kory Laos Memorial BMX Park officially opens on Saturday morning, it will provide Scott Laos and his family a small sense of closure.
More than four years ago, Scott’s youngest son Kory was struck by a driver turning right into a parking lot while he and several of his friends were riding on the sidewalk on Speedway Boulevard approaching Euclid Avenue.
Kory, 14, was thrown into traffic and struck by a second SUV driver who couldn’t avoid hitting him.
Laos said his son and his friends were just out trying to find a safe place to learn new BMX tricks and at the time there was no place for BMX riders to practice.
Shortly after the crash, Laos and his family knew they wanted to do something.
“We gathered our thoughts and said ‘hey how can we deal with this in a different way instead of letting it destroy us,'” Laos said.
The group got to work and started lobbying the county to let them build a BMX park for kids.
Eventually Pima County officials got on board, donating eight acres of land adjacent to the Rillito River Path at Shannon Road and naming it after Kory.
The fruits of their labor will be realized tomorrow when the park honoring Kory is officially opened as part of the Launch the Loop events.
Loas said it isn’t complete and they have plans to build a concrete park with a basin for BMX riders to use, but is thrilled to get the dirt park open. He said it means a lot to him and his family.
“We started this mission to honor our child and give us a way to grieve,” he said. “Shortly thereafter we realized it’s not just about our son, it’s about the entire community. We are getting some satisfaction as a family, but we are getting even more satisfaction by being able to do something for our community and for all the other parents and all the other families out there.”
The park will have its grand opening at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. It is located near the Flowing Wells District Park at 5510 N. Shannon Road.
Helmets are required to ride the dirt park. There will be BMX and mountain bike demos, free helmets and a bike repair station during the grand opening.