Silvia Gallo
58 years old

The day Silvia Gallo died was the last she’d planned to spend in New York City for a while. She was due to fly out of LaGuardia Airport at 6 a.m. the next day, on her way to a year-long gig teaching pilates in Ireland.

Three bags were packed and left on the floor of her apartment in Manhattan. The last item on her to-do list was fixing her iPad. She was returning from the store when she was struck.

Silvia had three adult sons, one of whom is Jorge Gurgel, a well-known mixed martial artist. “She was all about positivity,” Jorge told MMA journalist Derek Bolender after her death. “She had the biggest smile in the world. She hated people that played ‘poor me, poor me.’ She did not believe in excuses.”

Jorge added that his mother was warm and full of energy, with a zest for life you’re either born with or you aren’t. “Everybody who knows me, knows that she was my hero,” he said. “She was many people’s hero. Everything I am and everything I’ve accomplished is because of her. She believed in me.”

Shortly after her death, Jorge retired from mixed martial arts competition to become a full time coach. It was his mother’s wish.

This collision happened on August 29, 2014 near East 79th Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. See details in the Mean Streets Tracker.

Mean Streets 2014: Who We Lost, How They Lived

Throughout 2014, WNYC tracked the 265 men, women and children killed in traffic crashes in New York City. In addition to reporting the circumstances of their deaths, we looked at who they were in life: mothers, fathers, grandparents, students, recent immigrants and native New Yorkers. To read some of their stories, click on a photograph.