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Dad killed while biking to 2nd job, leaves 5 kids orphaned in Philippines

Photo from Ronacin's GoFundMe page.
Photo from Ronacin’s GoFundMe page.

Ronacin Tjhung was working more than 60 hours a week at two jobs to send money back to support his five children in the Philippines. Those children, between 9 and 16, lost their mother in the terrible typhoon Haiyan (also known as “Yolanda”) in 2013. Now, they have lost their father an ocean away in Seattle.

Ronacin was biking from his first job at McDonald’s to his second job at UW when he collided with someone driving a Toyota Rav4 SUV on S Graham Street just west of MLK. The collision remains under investigation. For more, see our previous story.

Family reports on his GoFundMe page that Ronacin died Saturday evening after more than a week in Intensive Care:

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Today has been by far the most hardest day for us. Ronacin passed away this evening at 7:50 pm along side him was our whole family and some close friends. No more suffering. We will really miss your smiling face. Your time with us here in Seattle wasn’t very long. I know you are in a much better place. Rest in peace kuya. We love you so much. We will make sure all your children are taken care of. We will try our best to be able to bring you home to the Philippines so your children can see you one last time.

Our deepest condolences go to his friends and family.

KOMO’s Lindsay Cohen spoke with Ronacin’s family in Seattle. My heart breaks for them. Ronacin deserved better. People should not die simply for trying to get around our city and provide for their families. Watch the report on the KOMO website.

Screen shot from KOMO report. Watch the full report.
Screen shot from KOMO report. Watch the full report.

The crowdfunding page is still up and running, but now funds will go to help with funeral costs.

Neighbors with Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Rainier Valley Greenways and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways are organizing a memorial walk in his honor noon Saturday starting at Othello Station. Details from the event page:

Beacon Hill Safe Streets, Rainer Valley Greenways, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways are holding a Memorial walk and memorial this Saturday for Ronacin Tjhung. A father of five who passed away this last Saturday; tragically the mother also passed away several years ago leaving the children orphaned […]

At 12:00PM Saturday we will be meeting at the NE corner of MLK & Othello (next to the Othello Light Rail Station). We will then be walking to MLK & Graham, the crash site, where the family and the advocacy groups will make remarks at 12:30PM. People are welcome to join as at MLK & Graham if they are unable to join us for the walk.

On Friday, January 13th Ronacin Tjhung was struck by an SUV while cycling from his first job at McDonalds to his 2nd job at UW. He had 15 minutes to get between the two jobs. After an eight day struggle Ronacin succumbed to his injuries and passed away January 21st at 7:50PM leaving behind 5 orphaned children.

Ronacin provided for his children by working 60 hours a week and sending money back home, to the Philippines. He leaves behind five children, whom are now orphaned as their mother died a few years ago in a typhoon. His children and some family remain in the Philippines. The family is hoping to send him home for burial and what was once a fund to raise money to support his family and pay medical bills, is now a fund to fly him back home and pay for the funeral.


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One response to “Dad killed while biking to 2nd job, leaves 5 kids orphaned in Philippines”

  1. […] the new Global Street Design Guide from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Seattle Bike Blog profiles an immigrant father who was killed riding his bike to one of his two jobs. And […]

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