Geez. Here is news today of a second person killed by a driver.
Because it was initially an injury only, it did not occasion a release from the Police, but Joleen Braasch Berry died from her injuries today.
Joleen Braasch Berry, of Salem, was riding with a helmet in the bicycle lane [on Tuesday] when William Justin Chambers, 25, who was driving a Toyota sedan, drifted out of the southbound traffic lane and into the bike lane [in the 2700 block of Cherry Ave NE].
Chambers struck Berry, then came to a stop after crashing into a tree....
Chambers was charged with second-degree manslaughter, driving while under the influence of intoxicants and vehicular assault.
Unlike the crash reporting on the Windsor Island Road death, here in this story there are people biking and driving, and the driver, not the car, is the responsible agent in the crash. Though it should not also be necessary to say Berry was or was not wearing a helmet, as if not wearing a helmet might invite a crash and cause the person biking to have to share some of the blame for their death or that our level of sympathy might vary with helmet use. The lethal error and power is the driver's, not whether a person biking has a helmet. Helmet use doesn't protect against a crash. See the earlier post for more on language and ascription of responsibility.
Update, Saturday the 10th
In print, the story uses the tired and inaccurate "hit by car" trope in the headline. It also corrects the charges from "manslaughter" to "felony second-degree assault" and adds "failure to perform the duties of a driver."
|Print uses "hit by car" formula, erasing the driver|
As a person with her own story and life, Berry is largely absent, and hopefully follow-up stories on the court dates will give her more dignity and presence. The dead and seriously injured are not able to tell their own story, and structurally the reports always depend too much on the driver. He gets the photo, even if it is a mug shot.
Monday the 12th
Here's a tribute from the Book Bin, with details on an in-store memorial.
This post may be updated.
- Jaime Le Ann Hall (on skateboard)
- Sharon Pritchard
- Mario Lopez-Lopez (walking a bike)
- Andrew Otho Polston (on bike)
- Marshall Leslie
- Linda Adamson (south Salem) and Stephanie Ashford (just outside Salem)
- Jason Libel (on bike)
- Josephine Watkins
- Rodric Kenyon Drolshagen
- Olivia Stroup
- Jaren Nash
- Alex Armes
- Anthony Earnest
- Baxter Harrell
- Unknown (just outside Salem)
- Bradley Goad (in Silverton)