HRC official killed in D.C. motor scooter crash

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Cassidy Karakorn, the Director of Consumer Marketing for the Human Rights Campaign, was killed Saturday night, Aug. 26, when the motor scooter she was driving on Florida Avenue, N.E. crashed into a Volkswagen SUV after the driver of the SUV attempted to make a U-turn from the wrong lane, according to a statement released by D.C. police.

“The HRC family is mourning the loss of our beloved colleague and friend, Cassidy Karakorn,” HRC said in its own statement on Tuesday.

“Over her 17-year career at the Human Rights Campaign, Cassidy tirelessly championed civil rights for the LGBTQ community,” the HRC statement says. “As Director of Consumer Marketing, Cassidy’s eye for fashion and art made a transformative impact on HRC and helped us reach more people than ever before.”

The police statement says the crash that took Karakorn’s life took place at about 11:17 p.m. on Aug. 26 when her Piaggio scooter was heading eastbound on the 1100 block of Florida Avenue, N.E. It says the driver of a Volkswagen Touareg SUV was also traveling eastbound in the same location in the far right lane.

“The driver of the Touareg attempted to make a U-turn from the far right lane to go westbound on Florida Avenue, Northeast,” the statement says. “As the Touareg crossed the left lane of travel, the scooter struck the driver’s side rear of the Touareg,” it says.

“Directly following the crash, the driver of the Touareg stopped his vehicle and, along with other witnesses, attempted to assist the operator of the scooter,” the police statement says. “D.C. Fire and EMS arrived on the scene and transported the operator of the scooter to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.”

The statement identified the scooter operator as Karakorn, 39, of Northeast D.C.

“The case is currently under investigation by the Major Crash Investigation Unit,” the police statement says. “Anyone with information regarding this case should call 202-727-9099.”

The HRC statement says Karakorn earlier this year worked with artist Meghan Geckler “to bring to life an eight-story public art installation remembering the 49 lives taken in the Pulse Nightclub shooting and other victims of hate violence.”

The statement adds: “Cassidy was a vibrant and energetic force for change in the world. Her talents were boundless. Her creative genius and passion were unmatched. She was fun, caring and her positivity was contagious. We loved her and loved working with her.”

A biography of Karakorn on the website Asia After Dark says she was also well known and admired in her role as a DJ “spinning an eclectic mix of international indie and electro dance selections.” It says “she has DJed in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, supporting artists including Ladytron, The Faint, Cut Copy, and the Presets” prompting the D.C. entertainment industry to take notice of her.

(Photo courtesy Kate Warren; courtesy HRC.)

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