Road traffic victims remembered at Portland vigil - KPTV - FOX 12

Road traffic victims remembered at Portland vigil

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Families met under the Morrison Bridge Sunday to remember their loved ones who died in traffic accidents.

One local group put out a unique display of hundreds of shoes to honor the victims, and also to send a message about the importance of safety on the road. 

The 400 pairs of shoes displayed at the event represent 400 lives lost on Oregon roads this year.

"To think of the fact that there's 400 families right now thinking about their first holidays without their family member is kind of devastating," said mother Jeannette Robart. 

Robart knows that pain all too well.

"We lost my 17-year-old three years ago. He was a passenger in a car with a drunk friend and our lives will never be the same," she said. 

Now, she hopes others will learn from her story. 
"I hope that people will start waking up and seeing that safety is important and teaching our children to be safe is important. Our children watch what we do as an example," she said. 

Kristi Finney-Dunn is part of the group Families for Safe Streets, and she also has personal ties to the cause.

"Before I lost my own child, I was pretty unaware of what's going on. I didn't realize the scope, and that's what the extent of the shoes is, to show the scope," said Dunn. 

She's not just hoping drivers get the message – she also wants pedestrians and bicyclists to slow down, put the phone down, and be aware of others on the road.

"My son was killed on his bicycle but we are advocating for safe streets for everyone, no matter how they're getting around," said Dunn. "It's newborns, it's elderly people, it's people in mobility devices, it's people walking and biking and I can't stress enough, that it is happening to people in cars."

Along with the shoes covering the pavement, there are also chalk outlines of shoes – a sobering image of what could be.

"We also have chalk footprints and that is to represent the unfortunate people that we know are coming to join those we have already lost," said Dunn. 

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