Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Driver in SUV kills Rodric Kenyon Drolshagen Crossing Front Street at Carousel

While making a left-hand turn out from Riverfront Park a driver in a large SUV has killed Rodric Kenyon Drolshagen crossing Front Street at State Street today.

Crosswalk in which a driver struck and killed a 70 year old today

The memorial in the crosswalk island, Nov 8th
After the initial, very minimal tweet from Salem PD, focusing on street closures and traffic, the subsequent release by the Police:
On 12/4/19, shortly before 11am, Salem Police responded to a report of a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian at the intersection of Front St and State Street. Witnesses reported the pedestrian was struck as he was attempting to cross the northbound lanes of Front street, heading from the Riverfront park area. The involved vehicle, a black Ford Explorer, was exiting the Riverfront Carousel parking lot, located at State street and Front street, and was turning left to proceed northbound onto Front street, when the pedestrian was hit. Witnesses provided first aid to the pedestrian prior to emergency responders arriving. The pedestrian was prounced deceased at the scene.

The involved driver remained on scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Investigators are working to identify and contact the next of kin for the pedestrian. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. There have been no citations or arrests made.
And an update with the name of the person killed, but not the driver:
Salem Police investigators have identified the pedestrian involved in the fatal crash on December 4th as 72 yr old Salem resident Rodric Kenyon Drolshagen. Drolshagen was walking his dog across front street, at State Street, and was in a marked crosswalk, when he was struck by a vehicle and later pronounced deceased at the scene. His dog was not injured and is currently in the process of being reunited with family members.

The investigation is continuing and no citations or arrests have been made.
In headlines on their initial stories, both Statesman Journal and Salem Reporter erase the driver, seemingly treating the death as the result of some mysterious process rather than car violence:

"Man dies in crash on Front Street in downtown Salem; streets reopened" - SJ
"Pedestrian killed while crossing Front Street near Riverfront Park" - SR

Passive: "hit by a car" and "struck by a black Ford Explorer"

Second story in print, again passive: "struck by a car" etc.
It seems impossible that the driver did not fail to yield properly to a person in the crosswalk, and it will be interesting to learn how the crash investigation adjudicates fault. But even if the driver is cited, the initial framing for the crash stories will have mystified the action of a driver and their car. "Man [mysteriously] dies" and "hit by car."

There is no protected (arrow) turn phase, so drivers have to look
for people in crosswalk

The end point of SUV after impact
For more discussion of language see the review article and these recent examples:

Columbia Journalism Review
For more on the cultural and legal context of our autoism in which we minimize the responsibility of drivers and shift blame to people on foot, see:
We say "troubling"
but really, how troubled are we?
Killed in 2019
Killed in 2018
Killed in 2017
Killed in 2016:
Killed in 2015:


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added photo of the crosswalk)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added a couple more photos and clip from morning paper)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added name of the deceased)

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added second clip from paper)