The household of a Portland lady killed Monday when an SUV struck her and 9 others in a sequence of hit-and-run crashes remembered her as somebody who was lively and desperate to dwell it.
Jean Gerich was struck and killed as a driver, but to be named by police, plowed his automotive into individuals and different automobiles over a 15-block stretch of Southeast Portland. Ten individuals had been struck — two cyclists, seven pedestrians and one individual whose head trauma left them unable to recollect in the event that they had been in a automotive or not once they had been hit, police stated. The different 9 victims are anticipated to outlive.
Relatives of Gerich stated in a press release that she was a mom of two and a “proud grandmother” of 5. She would have turned 78 in February.
“She beat cancer five years ago. She received her first vaccination shot last week and was overjoyed to get out in the world again,” the household stated in the assertion. “She has lived in the city of Portland since 1972, and for those 48 years she has loved her community of friends, Forest Park and the proximity to nature.”
She finally married her highschool sweetheart, Jerry Gerich, and traveled the world with him earlier than his dying in 2017, based on the person’s obituary.
The assertion offered by kinfolk of Jean Gerich stated they had been grateful to those that had been on the scene and helped her. She died after the crash at OHSU Hospital.
When reached straight by The Oregonian/OregonLive, a number of of Gerich’s kinfolk declined additional remark.
Marie Navarra, who lived in the identical retirement neighborhood as Gerich, remembered her good friend as an enthusiastic spirit. The pair met when Navarra moved into Holladay Park Plaza and ceaselessly went on walks collectively.
“Jean’s favorite place to walk is in the woods so last Tuesday, we walked at Oxbow State Park,” she stated. “Every week we chose a new place to walk.”
Gerich was dedicated to staying wholesome, strolling three to 4 miles day by day and monitoring her coronary heart price on a watch, Navarra stated.
“When we’d be walking, she’d check her watch and say, “Yea, I made it today! I got my heart rate up!’”
Navarra was amongst a number of dozen individuals who attended a vigil for Gerich and others Tuesday night.
“Her energy was boundless,” Navarra stated. “That’s what’s so tragic,”
Witnesses and police described a chaotic scene Monday afternoon as a person drove a silver Honda Element on the street and on the sidewalks, plowing into individuals and automobiles.
Portland police say somebody first reported a hit-and-run at thirty third Avenue and Pine Street, close to Laurelhurst Park, at round 1 p.m.
Officer Derek Carmon, a spokesman for the company, stated police quickly started to get different calls about the identical driver hitting different pedestrians and automobiles.
Carmon stated the motive force, in a silver Honda Element, struck individuals and automobiles from thirty third to 18th avenues, alongside Stark, Pine, Washington and Belmont streets. The man finally tried to run from the scene after crashing his automotive. Carmon stated a bunch of bystanders noticed him and ran after him, holding him again till police arrived.
Larry Wolfe stated he had an appointment to satisfy Gerich on the nook of Washington Street and nineteenth Avenue. Wolfe advised The Oregonian/OregonLive he heard her scream and discovered she had been hit by a automotive. He stated he began strolling towards her, then noticed the automotive come again and hit her once more. The automotive then did a U-turn and dragged Gerich for a while, Wolfe stated.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the suspect had nonetheless not been booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Police stated they don’t imagine the person’s rampage was motivated by bias, political intent or terrorism. He was taken to the hospital after his arrest.
Beth Nakamura and Kale Williams of The Oregonian/OregonLive contributed to this report.
-Jayati Ramakrishnan; 503-221-4320; [email protected]; @JRamakrishnanOR