Friday, October 9, 2020

Driver Kills Andrew Otho Polston in Hit-and-Run on Windsor Island Road - Updated

A person driving has struck, killed, and then fled from a person biking on Windsor Island Road.

First Report

From the Keizer Police:

On October 9, 2020, at just before 12:30 p.m., Keizer police officers were dispatched to the 6100 block of Windsor Island Road North to a reported vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. Officers found a 70-year-old man deceased at the scene, an apparent victim of a collision with a vehicle. The vehicle that struck the man did not remain at the scene, and officers with the traffic team are currently investigating, assisted by detectives and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Because this is an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time, and the name of the deceased male will not be released until his next of kin has been notified.

Not only did the vehicle not remain, neither did the driver.

Once again our language betrays us into erasing the driver, who is responsible for the safe operation of a car and for remaining on the scene and rendering aid.

Today's death coincides with an ODOT press release in which they continue to blame people on foot:

With shorter days and rainy weather, fall and winter can be challenging for pedestrians.

But we can all take steps to keep roads safer for everyone, from being mindful of our surroundings and wearing bright clothes as pedestrians to watching our speed and minding crosswalks as drivers.

Maybe, you know, we should really focus on drivers, who are the ones who employ lethal speed and power and weight. A person on foot who makes a minor error of inattention or judgement does not deserve to be killed by a driver who makes a minor error of inattention or judgement - let alone a major error. (See below for more notes on this.)

Update, Monday the 12th

It was a person biking, not a pedestrian.

From the Keizer PD:

On Friday, October 9, 2020, 70-year-old Andrew Otho Polston, of Keizer, was lawfully riding his bicycle north on Windsor Island Road when he was struck and killed by a northbound 1973 Dodge van driven by 93-year-old Robert E. Lindsey, of Salem. The Keizer Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Office investigated the fatal crash, which is ongoing. No arrest has been made.

Once completed, the investigation will be forwarded to the Marion County District Attorney’s office for review and determination of any potential criminal charges. The district attorney’s office will release any further information.

(And there's a "huh" here: The Robert Lindsey Tower on Church Street, named after a mayor. There could additional reasons no arrest has been made. Clearly there will be more to say on this.)

This post will be updated.

Back in 2015 we said "troubling"
but really, how troubled are we?
Killed in 2020
Killed in 2019
Killed in 2018
Killed in 2017
Killed in 2016:
Killed in 2015:
On erasing the driver - Columbia Journalism Review

For more discussion of language see these examples:

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:


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Updated with information on the person biking who was killed and on the driver. The driver may be a notable Salemite, also. There will be more to say.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Over at the Mill's oral history project with former mayors, they identify a Robert Eugene Lindsey as a "hazelnut grower" and so that's not a positive ID, but that's sure a lot of details that line up. That's enough for the sinking, queasy feeling for sure.