Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Person Killed in Crosswalk on Mission Underscores Problems - Updated

Last month a proposed 96-unit apartment complex located just south of Mission and 23rd seemed poised to move forward. (Notes here and here.)

According to Salem Police, a person Connor Jordan was killed in a crosswalk yesterday at Mission and Hawthorne, not far from 23rd.

The KATU piece is especially bleak, its language highlighting the difficulty in "attempting" to use a crosswalk here, and carrying as I read it the implicit assumption that the crosswalk is not safe and the attempt will always be hazardous - you know, like using the crosswalk is a stunt or something:
SALEM, Ore. -- A person was killed in Salem Monday night after they were attempting to use the crosswalk.

The crash shut down a busy stretch of road in Salem for several hours and police, as of 11 p.m., were still on the scene with the truck they said is involved in the crash. Police arrived on scene just after 8 p.m. Monday.

Police said witnesses told them a pedestrian as crossing in the crosswalk when they were hit. They also told police the pedestrian had the walk signal and was crossing on Mission Street toward Hawthorne. That person died at the scene. Police have not released the person's name.

Police also said the driver of the truck was cooperating with their investigation, but did not say how fast the driver was going at the time of the crash. Police also have not released the driver's name.

"The speed limit here is 45, so even at that speed, being struck will carry a body quite a distance," said Salem Police Department Sergeant Tony Moore.

Police have not said if alcohol was a factor in the crash, but said the driver is in the hospital, which is standard procedure. The driver has not been cited be police, but their investigation is still underway.
Planning and development standards are premised on Mission street being walkable.

But this environment is actually quite hostile to people on foot, and totally car-dependent.

Is it too much to wish that a person's death would lead the City to reconsider its policies for Mission Street and other busy roads? (And why should it take a death?  Mission is giant, totally focused on speed and car through-put; sidewalks and bikelanes, just like the crosswalk, don't automatically make it "friendly.")

Update, Wednesday morning:

From the SJ:
Salem police identified the pedestrian who died Monday evening after being struck by a vehicle on Mission Street as a 22-year-old Canadian man.

Police said the driver, James Sinks, 43, of Salem was driving a Dodge Dakota truck east on Mission Street SE when he struck Connor Jordan of Vancouver, B.C. who was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk at the Hawthorne Street SE intersection.

Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lt. Jim Aguilar said that Sinks did not stop at the red light, but no citations have been issued yet, citing an ongoing investigation involving the Marion County District Attorney's Office. He added that it appears neither speed nor alcohol were involved.

Sinks is a spokesman for the State Treasurer's Office, according to the agency’s website, and formerly worked for the Bend Bulletin and the Statesman Journal. [italics added]
Update, August 19th

Connor Jordon, 22 - via The Province
Yesterday the BC paper, The Province, published an update:
Connor Jordon was one day from home at the end of a solo motorcycle trip to Las Vegas when he was killed while walking in a crosswalk in Salem, Oregon by a driver who did not stop for a red light....

Last week, the Marion County District Attorney’s Office issued a press release stating “no criminal charges will be filed” against the man driving the Dodge pickup that struck Jordon....

“Two tickets. That’s all he got. He’s still allowed to drive. He’s still allowed to go to his job, to his family. But our son is dead,” said Gray.

The grieving father has hired an American lawyer to pursue a civil case.

“It’s not the route we want to go, but the only punishment Oregon provides for what happened to our son is monetary.”


Curt said...

You read my mind. I actually lost sleep over this last night.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

They still haven't released the name of the person struck and killed. It is not entirely surprising, then, that the SJ piece kinda lost sight of the person. But it's still a little shocking how much the focus is not on the fact that someone lost a life and a family a member, but is instead on how much drivers in traffic were inconvenienced:

"A fatal crash caused traffic delays and detours Monday evening at Mission and Hawthorne streets SE.

Police closed all eastbound lanes of Mission Street SE and two westbound lanes at about 8:30 p.m. Traffic was detoured around the area for several hours.

The streets reopened about three hours later

It's really impressive how the rhetoric around the collision and death treats a person in the crosswalk as an interloper, an interruption to the smooth flowing of drivers and their cars.

I suspect this death is getting a significantly different treatment in tone than the collision at 17th and Chemeketa that sent John Dashney to the hospital. For one thing, people on foot "belong" there in the neighborhood, and are much harder to define as interlopers.

More to come...

Anonymous said...

Ugh. $520. From the SJ:

"The driver who struck and killed a pedestrian in a crosswalk on Mission Street SE on July 16 has been cited for two traffic infractions, each of which carries a $260 fine, Salem police said today.

James Sinks, 43, the spokesman for the Oregon State Treasury, was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, according to Lt. Dave Okada, spokesman for the Salem Police Department.

Police said the district attorney's office determined that Sinks showed no criminal behavior and so manslaughter charges were not warranted.

"Basically it was just an accident," Lt. Jim Aguilar said. "The death was an accident, it was not caused by wreckless or criminal behavior."

The incident occurred about 8:30 p.m. Sinks, of Salem, was eastbound in a Dodge Dakota truck when he struck Connor Jordan, 22, of Vancouver, B.C., who was crossing Mission Street SE in a marked crosswalk at the Hawthorne Avenue SE intersection.

Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Sinks did not stop at a red light. The investigation has been turned over to the Marion County District Attorney's office."

Anonymous said...

I am trying so hard to find info on this man that passed, My girlfriend was a witness to this and she tried to bring him back to life. It would mean the world to her if she could contact the family some how. I've tried to find a picture of him or some type of profile on the internet about him. If anyone has any information please Send an email to SamuelAlcutt@yahoo.com, thank you very much.

His name was Connor Jordan.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for those who's travels were delayed by a few hours on July 16, 2012. I'm sure your inconvenience doesn't compare to losing a best friend, as I did that day.