An 8-year old Salem boy was struck and killed last night while crossing River Road North.
|River Road is five lanes here|
From the Keizer Police statement
On Friday, March 11, 2016 at 7:03 p.m., Keizer Police officers responded to a 9-1-1 report of an automobile vs. pedestrian traffic crash in the northbound lanes of the 3900 block of River Road North. Upon their arrival they confirmed an 8-year old boy had been struck by a motorist who was traveling northbound on River Road. Paramedics responded, administered emergency medical aid and quickly transported the young boy to the Salem Hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries.
This post may be updated.
The driver of the involved vehicle, 31-year old William Wetzler of Salem, stopped immediately after hitting the boy. He remained on scene and has cooperated fully with the investigation. He was operating a 2006 Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle at the time of the incident.
The boy, identified as 8-year old Jaren Nash of Salem, was flown by Life Flight from the Salem Hospital to the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, but a short time after arriving he succumbed to his injuries and died.
The preliminary traffic crash investigation indicates Jaren Nash who was accompanied by his mother, Devon Rutherford of Keizer, was attempting to cross the 3900 block of River Road North from west to east when he was struck by the northbound motorist. It was dark and the roadway was wet at the time of the incident. Additionally, the portion of roadway they were attempting to cross is not a crosswalk. The investigation remains under investigation at this time.
Jaren Nash attended Schirle Elementary School in Salem, Oregon. Notifications have been made to his next of kin and to officials from the Salem-Keizer School District.
The Oregon State Police assisted the Keizer Police Department the CRASH reconstruction. Anyone having witnessed this incident is asked to contact Keizer Police Sergeant Dan Kelley at 503-390-3713 Ext. 3479.
(inserted photo from streetview)
There are 8-10 'buried' apartment buildings here behind the commercial businesses to the West of the street with the only access mid-block on River Rd. Crosswalks are available at Sunset (near Baskin Robbins) and on the North side only of the intersection at Sam Orcutt Way (near Bi-Mart). On the east side of the street mid-block is a "vape" shop. Northbound traffic here is also heading downhill from the Sam Orcutt intersection.
I've warned the city staff about this but they don't want to hear anything that might reduce lane numbers, width or travel speed.
Maybe the boy will be the sacrifice too great to continue the normal way if doing things. But since other pedestrians have been killed in Keizer and the only solution to making streets safer is to make it easier for cars to move.
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