Naked Driver Kills Pedestrian in Washington County, OR

Date: June 26, 2011
Location: NW Linmere Drive, Oak Hills, Washington County
Names: Cynthia Barton Rabe, Corey Scott Jensen

An Oregon hit-and-run accident last Sunday morning has claimed the life of 47-year-old author Cynthia Barton Rabe, who was struck by a car as she walked along NW Linmere Drive in the Oak Hills area of Washington County.

According to Police Sergeant David Thompson, the fatal accident occurred around 10 a.m., when a 2010 Nissan Cube, allegedly being driven by Corey Scott Jensen, left the road and struck Rabe before crashing into a boulder. The car had been stolen from a friend of Jensen’s. After crashing the car, Jensen fled the scene, leaving Cynthia Rabe bleeding and unconscious in the middle of the road.

Another driver who witnessed the hit-and-run stopped and confronted Jensen, who then tried to steal that car, but was unsuccessful. Jensen ran away, but deputies found him about 30 minutes later, naked and evidently under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs he had taken at a North Plains festival. He resisted arrest, was tasered and removed to Emmanuel Legacy Hospital in Portland, where he was treated for injuries unrelated to his arrest, according to Sgt. Thompson. Jensen was listed in critical condition. Cynthia Rabe was also removed to Emmanuel Legacy, but efforts to save her life failed. Police are continuing to investigate, and charges are pending.

We would like to extend our most sincere sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Cynthia Rabe at this trying time. We can’t help being horrified by this hit-and-run. We implore drivers in any accident situation to put the safety and welfare of others above their own interests, and always, always remain at the scene at least until help arrives. We send our heartfelt condolences to Rabe’s family.

Compensation available for wrongful death claims like this include charges for medical expenses; memorial and burial services; compensation for the person’s pain, suffering, disability, and loss of income from the time of the injury through the time of death; financial losses to the person’s family or other heirs; compensation for the loss of companionship and services to the person’s spouse, children, stepchildren, stepparents and parents; and punitive damages may sometimes be available as well.

Wrongful death claims are allowed by law. ORS 30.010-30.100. The law caps the amount of noneconomic damages at $500,000. This does not apply to economic damages, which are not capped.

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is tricky. It is “three years after the injury causing the death . . . is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. . . .” In other words, it’s not three years from the date of death; it’s three years from the date of the original injury that ultimately caused the death. If a person goes into a coma from a car crash, and dies eight months later, the case will have to be brought within three years from the date of the car crash, not from the date of the death.