Rescue dogs

Portland pedestrian deceased with 2 rescue dogs grieved; driver accused of killing her

No one remembers exactly when Vicki Edwards started helping Fences for Fido.

The steadfast volunteer was such a vital part of the organization, which builds free fences for residents with chained dogs, it was as if she had always been there to lend a hand.

Now Edwards’ family, friends and members of the wider community are mourning Portlander, 63, after police say she and her two rescue dogs, Bonnie and Lula, were fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver around 7 Saturday July 16.

“She was always dedicated and gave of her time to anything animal-related,” said her son, JD Edwards. “It’s a horrible and tragic event that happened.”

Police arrested John W. Houston, 55, on July 23 on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter, hit-and-run and reckless driving after court documents say he abandoned his truck and drove off. fled on foot after causing the accident.

Another driver had already stopped for Edwards as she crossed Southeast Holgate Boulevard at the marked crosswalk on 100th Avenue, according to court documents and her son, when Houston slammed into the stopped car, forcing her across the street. ‘intersection.

The other driver, Matthew Moore, suffered minor injuries in the accident and has not been charged with any crime.

After turning himself in a few days later, Houston told police he was bending down to pick up a lit cigarette he had dropped when his truck hit the other car at high speed, according to a case affidavit. likely.

Houston was driving the truck for an unspecified “garbage services” company and claimed he had no idea anyone had been killed until he saw news reports, according to court records. He posted 10% of his bond, $2,500, and was released on Thursday.

A memorial at a crosswalk at SE 100th and Holgate as seen Thursday July 28, 2022. The crosswalk was the site of a hit and run earlier in the month in which a woman and two dogs were been killed.Dave Killen / The Oregonian

Growing up in the Lents neighborhood, JD Edwards said his mother always warned him against crossing Holgate, one of 30 high-traffic streets designated as dangerous by city officials.

While the intersection, which Vicki Edwards walked through every day on her way to Bloomington Park, features a pedestrian island, JD Edwards says the city needs to better protect the crossing — or remove it entirely.

“People don’t pay attention anymore,” he said. “You really need to apply a pedestrian cross marker.”

Fences for Fido co-founder Kelly Peterson said Vicki Edwards showed up to every fence project in the Portland metro area, recalling her smile a few months ago as she and a friend watched a dog and a Vancouver goat zoom across a newly fenced lawn.

It wasn’t until after the hard work was over that Vicki Edwards mentioned that it was also her birthday.

“She wanted to spend the day doing what made her happy, and that was building a fence for this dog,” Peterson said. “There are no words to describe this level of devastation and the loss of a life that has contributed so much to the world.”

On the day of her death, Edwards had registered with Fences for Fido to improve the welfare of another animal. The next one that the volunteers raise will be built in his honor.

—Zane Sparling; [email protected]; 503-319-7083; @pdxzane