An impulse of selflessness and caring for someone dear proved to be the legacy of Harison Long-Randall.
God rest his soul.
Twenty-one was way too young to die, particularly when the circumstances of his death were so senseless and devoid of compassion.
Long-Randall was struck on the corner of Garfield Avenue and Engle Road in Carmichael on July 16.
His girlfriend, Gemily West, 23, was seriously injured and her four beloved dogs were killed.
Long-Randall's leg was severed in the incident and he finally succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.
What a sad day that was. So many in this community were hoping for his recovery.
As of Tuesday, Bee readers had sent more than $26,000 in checks for the couple, much of it forwarded before word of Long-Randall's death.
The money has come from far and wide, some of it with heartfelt notes and tender expressions of human kindness.
The hope was that some of it could help Long-Randall as he recuperated from his critical injuries.
As The Bee's Sam Stanton reported: "(Long-Randall) lost a leg at the scene; his pelvis was torn almost apart."
The young man was heroic in his own way.
Witnesses say Long-Randall tried to save West when the car bore down on them at a horribly unsafe speed.
The driver left them both on the side of the road and the four dead dogs before speeding off.
There are no guarantees in this world, but you don't expect life to be shattered on a summer night's walk with the dogs.
Then it turns out the suspect Paul William Walden has a long rap sheet of DUI offenses.
In contrast to the lives he's accused of altering and ending, Walden is as unsympathetic as they come.
This case these lives intersected at a corner of humanity and inhumanity, and the rest of us can't avert our eyes because we know it could have been us in the path of that car.
I'm trying really hard to find mercy in my heart for the suspect, but it's not happening.
Not for this case.
The Sacramento County district attorney is now weighing homicide charges against Walden, given the death of Long-Randall on Sunday.
Given the nature of the crime, if a guilty verdict is reached, no punishment can be tough enough.
HOW TO HELP
If you'd like to donate, you can make out checks to the Harison Long-Randall/Gemily West Fund and mail them to Pam Dinsmore, community affairs director, The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento, CA 95816.
The family also has set up a PayPal account online. The email address to use is email@example.com