First date ends tragically in hit-run death


HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Tim Mahan and Marjorie Averill met online and then decided to meet in real life on Saturday. They went shopping at the Lloyd Center, then took the MAX out to Hillsboro for a Chinese dinner.

“We had a great time,” Mahan told KOIN 6 News. “It seemed like she hadn’t had a good time in a while. It was fun.”

But that new friendship was cut short when the 38-year-old Averill was hit and killed by a white van as they crossed NE Cornell Road and 17th around 7:40 p.m. that night.

“We were walking and just about to the bus stop. We had to cross the crosswalk right there and the van took off, kind of knocked me out of the way,” he said. “I was, like, banging on the hood of the van, you know, ‘Stop! Stop!’ you know, and it just sped up.”

Mahan, 47, said he was on the inside, closest to the van, and she was on the outside.

“If they could have stopped once they hit me, and I would have had my little injuries and she would have been fine,” he said. “Everything would have been fine. They chose to speed up.”

He said the van — with a dark-colored graphic decal along its driver’s side — “had already hit her. And then they sped up and she was underneath the van when they sped up.”

The van took off. Early Sunday morning, Hillsboro police said they located the van and there is an identified person of interest. The investigation is ongoing.

He ran up to her and she was still breathing, he said. “I just grabbed her. I was like, ‘Hang on, help’s on the way. Help’s on the way.’ And she stopped breathing.”

Mahan suffered some rib injuries when he was hit. Mostly, he’s been in shock.

“I kind of broke down a little bit today. I got a message from her roommates thanking me (for doing what he could when she was hit) and that hit me pretty hard.”

‘The girl was going places’

Marjorie Averill lived at a clean and sober house in Hillsboro. Her roommate, Jill Vannattan, knew her since Averill moved into the house in October.

“She was completely full of life. She was beautiful, giving, she cared about everybody else more than she cared about herself,” Vannattan told KOIN 6 News. “The girl was going places, she was going places. She had cleaned up her life so much. It was amazing.”

Marjorie Averill and Tim Mahan in a selfie on their first date, January 19, 2019. Hours later, she was hit and killed by a driver in Hillsboro, who fled the scene. (Courtesy: Tim Mahan)

Averill gave others hope that they could do the same. She was in a 12-step program, read library books every day, planned to go back to school and liked to make bead jewelry.

And, Vannattan said, she was excited for Saturday.

“On Saturday she was so excited. She made the entire house pancakes, everybody in the house. She was so happy. You can’t even believe she’s gone because she was so full of life.”

Her friend’s death is horrible, she said. And she wants the van’s driver to surrender.

“They have to live with this the rest of their life, and it’s going to be an extremely rough road, no matter what they do,” she said. “But it’s not going to be easier by running.”

Mahan, who lives at a residential treatment center in Northeast Portland, agrees. Though he and Averill had only met online a few weeks before, he said he could tell she was “awesome.”

“She kind of came from the same background I came from. It’s like she understood what I was talking about when I talked about stuff.”

He feels fortunate he got to spend the time with her that he did.

“I also know she had a smile on her face at the end,” he said. “She went with a smile.”

But he’ll never get the image out of his head about those final moments, he said.

“I just want her to get justice, you know. Someone to pay for what they did to her because she didn’t do anything to anybody to deserve that.”

If you have any information about the van or the driver, you can call Hillsboro Police at 503.629.0111. 

A makeshift memorial to Marjorie Averill popped up after the 38-year-old was killed by a hit-run driver in Hillsboro on January 19, 2019 (KOIN)

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