The death of Fallon Smart has torn our community apart. A potent mixture of how she was killed (run over by a dangerous man who used his car as a deadly weapon while she legally walked across a street), where she was killed (a stretch of Hawthorne you might see in a tourism brochure), and who she was (by all accounts a bright, giving and creative 15-year-old who attended a nearby high school), has led to multiple protests, heated online debates, an outpouring of support for her grieving family, and a much-needed dose of reality on Portland’s back-patting path to “Vision Zero.”
Whenever someone dies in a traffc collision, it has an impact on the community; but every once in a while a fatality will spark something larger. Smart’s death appears to have done that. But strangely, while citizens and grassroots activists have mobilized, there’s a deafening silence from City Hall.