Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Tualatin Valley Highway, Hillsboro, Oregon
Names: Jaziel Lopez-Medina
A hit-and-run driver killed an 18-year-old man who was walking on or near the highway near the Sunset Esplanade Shopping Center in Hillsboro, Oregon. Over a month later, no one had come forward, and police were still looking for the person responsible.
On July 18, 2010, Jaziel Lopez-Medina, 18, was found lying in a westbound lane of the Tualatin Valley Highway. Police determined he had been struck and killed by a car.
No one witnessed the crash, but one resident told police he saw Lopez-Medina earlier that evening, apparently highly intoxicated and stumbling. However, he was not a transient; an obituary in The Oregonian says he was a college student.
Locals said the area near the crash site is very dark, and it is known for people running red lights.
We send condolences to Lopez-Medina’s family, including his life partner, Ruth, daughter Aracely, mother Maria, and father Juan.
It is important not to rush to blame the victim in a case like this. Even if a person is drunk, that doesn’t mean they should get hit by a car. In addition, as local residents pointed out, there were other factors that may have contributed, such as lack of sufficient lighting and dangerous traffic.
And very importantly, this is another case where a driver ignored the law, ignored basic responsibilities, and abandoned the victim, by fleeing the scene. Accidents are bad enough – but leaving the scene makes it many times worse.
As we recently noted, hit-and-run really boils down to selfishness.
We can’t say it often enough or loudly enough. Never, never flee the scene of an accident. Make sure nobody is hurt. Wait for law enforcement. Do the right thing. If you don’t, you may end up facing a lifetime of guilt, remorse and regret.