Last night there was a terrible crash near ARCHES. The initial story, and a lot of the response, blamed the victims, focusing on them as camping in the wrong place. But they were not camping in the roadway! They were not even on the sidewalk. They were well away from where a car is supposed to be. (See this long thread on instances of drivers crashing into buildings well off the roadway. Are the buildings in the wrong place?)
The error, a grievous and fatal one, is the driver's. The driver is the one at fault, and reporting and comment should underscore the jaydriving, not the camping. Driving is the act that employs lethal force.
The Mayor even misunderstands the problem, perhaps by design.
|The Mayor focuses on camping, not jaydriving|
The problem is "unmanaged driving" not "unmanaged camping." If the driver had crashed into a building would the Mayor talk about "unmanaged buildings"?
From the Police:
[T]he driver of a two-door sports coupe was traveling northbound on Front ST passing Union ST when the vehicle left the roadway and crashed into an unsheltered encampment pinning two individuals beneath the car. The camp was located at the corner where Front ST NE intersects with the Front ST business route known as OR99E.
Two individuals died at the scene. Four people from the encampment were transported to Salem Health with life-threatening injuries, two of whom later died at the hospital. The driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, was also transported for medical treatment.
The exact number of individuals and tents at the encampment is not known.
Officers helped several uninjured campers collect some of their belongings and provided shelter assistance. Three individuals were taken to a local motel. The City of Salem’s homeless advocacy partners were also contacted in an effort to get the members of our unsheltered community connected to needed resources as a result this tragedy....
Enrique Rodriguez, Jr., age 24, was [later] arrested on the following charges:
- Manslaughter in the first degree, four counts
- Assault in the second degree
- Assault in the third degree
- Reckless endangerment, six counts
There will be more to say, as too many people will choose to talk about "inappropriate camping" and not about "inappropriate driving" and "broad streets that allow or induce high speeds." However distasteful is the camping and its disorder, the fundamental and lethal problem here is jaydriving.