Salem children's author struck at crosswalk, driver arrested

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Carla Castaño
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Article date: 
Thursday, June 14, 2012
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SALEM, Ore. -- A woman is facing drunken driving charges after a 70-year-old Salem man was struck and critically injured at a crosswalk Tuesday afternoon.

The accident happened at about 1:35 p.m. on 17th Street NE, at its intersection with Chemeketa Street. According to Lt. Dave Okada with Salem police, John Dashney was in a crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle traveling north on 17th Street.

Dashney was transported to Salem Hospital, where he was last listed in critical condition.

Okada says the driver, identified as 59-year-old Rose Litherland of Salem, was charged with second-degree assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants. She is also on an immigration hold. Litherland was arraigned Wednesday before a Marion County Judge via a video conference. Her bail was set at $100,000.

Jeff Titus resides near Dashney and reportedly witnessed the incident. He called 9-1-1 and stayed with Dashney until medics arrived.

"It was just like she never even saw him, she just plowed through him…He actually went 10 feet in the air and did three cartwheels then hit the ground," Titus said.

Titus and other neighbors say the intersection is already dangerous for pedestrians. They argue that flashing lights should be put in to protect walkers.

Dashney is a children's author who has written several books. He is also listed as a district representative for the American Council of the Blind of Oregon.

"He's got ribs broken on both sides, a collapsed lung; his lungs are bruised, and his back is broken in two spots," Titus said.

17th Street was closed for two hours between Center and Court Streets while emergency responders cleared the scene.

Litherland’s arraignment is scheduled for June 8.

Salem children's author struck at crosswalk, driver arrested

-- KOIN Local 6 staff