Now her husband and friends are preparing for the race without her as another woman faces charges for crashing into Abrahams’ Vancouver home on Aug. 3, killing her.
Karen Baker, 53, was charged with vehicular homicide and DUI after she was released from the hospital and booked into jail. Family members and coworkers faced her for the first time Thursday in a Clark County court room.
“We think that grace should not be given to her. She chose to not give my sister grace when she chose to get behind the wheel,” said Abrahams’ sister Justine Baker, who is not related to Karen Baker.
Justine said she, Abrahams’ husband and her many coworkers are dedicating the race this weekend to their team member taken too soon – along with many other precious things.
“Karen didn’t just take one thing from us that night,” Justine said. “She took my sister, she took their dog, she took my brother and my brother-in-law’s home. She has financially devastated them.”
Loved ones described Abrahams as a caregiver, an avid fisherwoman, a gardener and a loving wife.
“Who she was as a person was so special,” Justine said. “You don’t come by people like her often, and if you do you hold on to them.”
The city of Vancouver says Abrahams’ death marks the second crash to take place at Unander Avenue within the past three years.
“In the wake of the accident earlier this month, city traffic engineering teams have been asked to evaluate the location for possible countermeasures,” a city spokesperson said. “The hope is to come up with something that will help prevent another errant vehicle from striking any homes in the immediate vicinity.”
However, Vancouver police records show there have been 307 of DUI arrests reported so far this year. In comparison, the total number reported for all of 2021 was 311.
“It shouldn’t have happened once. It definitely shouldn’t have happened twice,” Justine said. “Unfortunately, it’s a little too late for my sister, but I sure do hope they put something up there for her. Whoever moves in in the future deserves to be protected.”
Despite rumors of a barrier being established to protect the home, the Vancouver officials released a statement saying that they never made that promise.
“The City never made promises in the past to install a barrier at the location where the recent fatality occurred. Following that incident though, City staff checked their collision dashboard which is the culmination of reported vehicle, bike and pedestrian related crashes going back to 2015. In that time, there has been only one other reported crash at this location where a vehicle left the roadway and crashed through the fence. That was in August of 2020. That event resulted only in property damage to the fence and vehicle with no reported injuries or fatalities.
“In the wake of the accident earlier this month, City traffic engineering teams have been asked to evaluate the location for possible countermeasures. The hope is to come up with something that will help prevent another errant vehicle from striking any homes in the immediate vicinity.”
For the public, Justine has one plea: Don’t drink and drive.
“The last hug I gave my sister was through a body bag, and nobody deserves that,” Justine said. “If you have the money to pay for a bar tab, take the cab, call a friend, get a ride home.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover legal fees, funeral costs and support the two displaced in the crash.
Karen Baker is expected back in court for her arraignment on Sept 6.