Road rage victim's wife describes loss

September 2, 2011 4:45:51 AM PDT
Family and friends gathered Thursday on the campus of the University of Chicago to remember Mandeep Bedi.

The 23-year-old, an apparent victim of road rage, was run down on a South Side street. Chicago police are still searching for the driver responsible for his death.

The victim's wife, 21-year-old Liz Bedi, is speaking for the first time about her husband and the incident that lead to his death.

"It's really hard to accept that I don't get to have a family with him. That's been one of the hardest things for me," said Liz Bedi. "I don't think anyone has the capability of loving like he does."

Mandeep Bedi died young, but loved ones say his life was as vibrant as a wall of remembrance filled with bright graffiti that honors him.

"I woke up this morning, and it was the first time I woke up with a smile on my face since it happened because I knew that today was all about him," she said.

It was last month in Washington Park when Bedi and his wife Liz were involved in a roadside incident. Police say an unidentified female driver began following the Bedis. She was apparently angry after they had merged into traffic. When the Bedis pulled over and left their car, police say there was a confrontation and the woman ran over the couple.

"I would obviously prefer to see her behind bars, but my concern is honoring Mandeep," said Liz Bedi. "It's hard to accept no matter what, but it's even harder to know that this was entirely senseless."

Mandeep Bedi survived for a week before succumbing to his injuries.

"It's just like a shock. You can't really say anything else about it. It was just devastating," said Matthias Dean-Carpentier, friend. "He was loud and ostentatious and really, really happy all the time. And there aren't really that many people like that."

The Bedis were married less than a year and a half ago and he was an anthropology graduate from the University of Chicago. His senior thesis studied the nuances of urban graffiti. Liz hopes to get it published in his honor.

"He was always someone who wanted increased tolerance and love between people of difference and he saw hip hop as a way to do that and graffiti," she said.

On Thursday, friends filled a makeshift graffiti wall with symbols of his other passions, including the English soccer team Arsenal.

Bedi's mantra was "b e-z," a phrase about accepting what life presents, something his loved ones now struggle with.

"The love that Mandeep and I shared is never going to go away. That's really what's doing it for me right now," said Liz Bedi. "The knowledge that we had those 17 months...I really believe that I will always be the luckiest woman to have gotten to experience that."

The Medical Examiner has ruled Bedi's death a homicide. Liz Bedi says the incident happened so quickly that she didn't get a look at the license plate. Police have not released a description of the vehicle.

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