Mom of Portland woman hit and killed by car warns others - KPTV - FOX 12

Mom of Portland woman hit and killed by car warns of dangerous road

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Friends and family members are remembering a young woman who was hit and killed while walking home from work.

Police said 23-year-old Rochelle Ariana Riffe was hit at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday along Southeast 111th Avenue, just south of Harold Street. There is no sidewalk and no shoulder where she was walking.

"She was a brilliant girl who was studying child psychology," said Riffe's mother, Jill.

Riffe was a student at Mt. Hood Community College and wanted to combine her passion of art with her degree to become a child art therapist.

"It's still not really real to me that she's not going to just walk through the door," said Jill Riffe.

Riffe worked as an assistant manager at the Plaid Pantry at the corner of Division and 112th, about three miles from her home in southeast Portland.

She had recently been walking to and from work since her car was stolen three weeks ago. She was about a mile away from her house Tuesday morning when she was hit.

She passed away in the hospital the next day after slipping into a coma.

"What's so gut-wrenching to me is I didn't know she was working that shift. She didn't know if I had the day on or off," said Jill Riffe. "But I could have given her a ride home if I knew."

Police said the driver stayed at the scene, cooperated with investigators and was not impaired.

Officers are still investigating the cause, but they believe heavy rain and morning darkness were contributing factors.

Riffe's mother said she hopes the tragedy serves as a warning to pedestrians and drivers.

"Anywhere you drive, there might be a pedestrian," she said. "Even if it's 6:30 in the morning on a dark, rainy road, there might be a pedestrian."

Jill Riffe believes her daughter might still be alive had there been sidewalks on the road.

Riffe was an organ donor, and her family said her organs could save up to seven other lives.

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