PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Pedestrian safety advocates in Vancouver and Portland are speaking out after 3 people were struck by cars, 2 of them fatally, within a 24-hour period over the weekend.
“I didn’t even want to get out of bed I just felt like crying all day,” Kristi Finney-Dunn who founded Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets told KOIN 6 News. “I know other family members are going through what I went through.”
Finney-Dunn lost her son Dustin, 28, to a drunk driver in 2011. She says the pain she feels from his loss never goes away, and this weekend’s incidents didn’t help.
“He was a college student and he was really moving forward in his life and had a whole lot to live for,” she said. “It’s very difficult, it’s bringing it all back.”
A 17-year-old cyclist was killed Saturday in a crash on SE Center Street and 142nd Avenue in Portland. The 55-year-old driver was later arrested and charged with reckless driving, DUII and 2nd-degree manslaughter.
Later that night, a pedestrian was hit and killed at NE Cully and Mason. The driver, 29-year-old William Hurst, was also arrested for DUII.
Then around 1 a.m., a young man walking on the shoulder of a Vancouver road with his brother was hit and seriously injured. Treven Perry was arrested in the case.
“It’s especially sad that so much happened in one weekend, and 2 of the crashes were definitely involving impaired drivers” Noel Mickelberry, Executive Director of Oregon Walks, said. “There were 10 pedestrian deaths last year and 15 the year before.”
It’s a problem Mickelberry and Finney-Dunn have taken into their own hands.
“Our whole purpose is to use our own individual and special stories to try to impact people, to try to impact lawmakers and make changes in laws, changes in enforcement, changes in awareness and education because we don’t want this to keep happening,” Finney-Dunn said. “It’s totally preventable most of the time.”