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Beloved downtown Phoenix Ambassador hit, injured by suspected drunk driver

Posted at 10:39 PM, Aug 24, 2021

PHOENIX — Hans Hughes has spent the last 12 years guiding locals and visitors alike through the streets of downtown Phoenix.

Hans Hughes

He's not easy to miss, either. Hughes is usually sporting his bright orange polo as he rides his bike up and down each road even in the sweltering desert heat.

Still, it's his personality people remember most.

“We need more hearts like Hans in this world," said Lauren Potter, who met Hughes nearly eight years ago. "He just cares about people and cares about his community which is why he lives and breathes downtown Phoenix."

On Friday, the 12-year downtown Phoenix Ambassador was badly hurt while riding his bike home from the job he loved.

According to Phoenix police, a suspected drunk driver ran a red light at 1st and Filmore streets, hitting Hughes.

"It’s just so tragic that something like this would happen to him," added Potter. "Not only is he an incredible community member who lives downtown and contributes to the community, but the work he does keeps people safe and helps people.”

Tuesday, Hughes remained in the hospital with serious injuries to his head and chest. His sister, Hana Kuykendall, says he's considered critical, but hopes he can make a full recovery, although how soon that will happen is unknown.

"We already know that Hans has forgiven the person that you know made the mistake," said Kuykendall. "Hans is a lover and he’s a gentle soul and all he wants to do is spread happiness."

Already, an online fundraiser has raised more than $20,000 dollars to help Hughes as he recovers from his injuries.

"Hans is a legend," added Kuykendall after seeing so many messages of support, and donations raised on her brothers behalf. "That's a lot of people that he’s touched and that care and that’s a whole lot of love that my family and I are almost I’m overwhelmed with.”

Still, his family and friends ask if you're able to donate, it would make a world of difference for the man who's spent so many years helping Phoenix.

"Whether it’s $5 dollars or $500 dollars, it all makes a difference," said Potter.