A tragic, nearly fatal crash on a busy Bend street – the second involving a pedestrian in a day – has put a renewed focus on the issues of pedestrian safety.
Around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Bend woman was struck by a car as she attempted to cross Mt. Washington Drive in front of the Riverhouse Convention Center. The woman, identified Thursday by police as 62-year-old Carolyn Stanfill, remained in critical condition Friday at St. Charles Bend, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The general manager of the Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Vern Heitzenrader, said she was attending an event at the convention center and crossed the street at a spot marked with "Crosswalk Closed" signs.
"It was an extremely loud noise," Heitzenrader said. "It was evident to everyone who was within the convention center and in the guest rooms that there had been an accident."
The car was driven by a 33-year-old woman who was heading west on Mt. Washington Drive when she struck Stanfill. Police said the woman was cooperating in the investigation.
Bend Police Lieutenant Clint Burliegh said while there are different laws for how pedestrians should respond when crossing the road, no jaywalking statutes exist in Oregon.
“Pedestrians have the right to cross a roadway, as long as it’s safe for them to do so, and they're doing so in a manner that's considered safe,” Burleigh said.
Underneath the bridge on Mt. Washington Drive is a path that leads from the hotel to the convention center. Signs at the convention center and the hotel point to the path’s location.
Heitzenrader said they inform all employees and guests where it is, so they will use it, instead of crossing the road at a random point.
The Riverhouse hotel said was not responsible for the accident and wants to help all those involved as much as they can.