As too often happens, the news erases the driver and makes the the dead person into an abstraction: "A female pedestrian died Saturday after being struck by a vehicle..."
|Columbia Journalism Review|
So there may be two erasures here: The erasure of drivers, responsible for the safe operation of a vehicle, even on a highway; and the erasure of an unhoused person with their own history and story.
A few years ago, a front page story professed to express the "troubling" nature of people killed while walking.
|We say "troubling"|
but really, how troubled are we?
Update, late afternoon
Even while the police update still ascribes agency to "vehicles" rather than to drivers, it also shows how our category of "pedestrian" is woefully inadequate to what they conclude likely happened.
From Salem PD:
The woman who was killed in a motor vehicle crash on November 3, 2018 at approximately 9:15 p.m.. has been identified as Alexandria Tereshka, age 27 of Dallas. Based on evidence at the scene and the statements of the involved drivers, police believe that Tereshka was lying in the westbound lanes of Highway 22W near the Wallace Rd NW exit when she was struck by two vehicles. The drivers of those vehicles, Massah Morris, age 20 of Salem and Lori Goree, age 60 of Salem, both stayed on scene and cooperated with the investigation. Neither driver was impaired and no criminal charges are expected to be filed.This post will be updated.
Killed in 2018
Killed in 2017
- Olivia Stroup
- Jaren Nash
- Alex Armes
- Anthony Earnest
- Baxter Harrell
- Unknown (just outside Salem)
- Bradley Goad (in Silverton)
(Updated with names.)
Salem Reporter has an update on Alexandria Tereshka, "Rebellious and tormented, she was a 'heartbreaking' challenge for Oregon's strained system: Time after time, Alexandria Tereshka turned to public services for help with her mental health and addiction issues. She made one more appointment. She never made it."
And a meta-commentary and personal follow-up on the update, "Pursuing the truth, for better or worse:
Alexandria Tereshka's story was heartbreaking from the outset. As reporting uncovered more and more wrenching layers, publishing the article only became harder."
Salem Reporter returns to Tereshka with a cooperatively produced documentary:
"For Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton, 27-year-old Alexandria Tereshka was a reminder of the limits of Oregon's criminal justice system to help people struggling with addiction. Felton considers her case in a new documentary released Wednesday, Feb. 3."
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