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I work at The Book Bin in Corvallis' downtown. On the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 21 at approximately 4:35 p.m., my coworkers and I heard a ruckus of dog barking and a woman screaming outside in the street. When I looked outside our windows, I saw a pedestrian and their dog who were crossing Fourth Street on Madison that were cut off by a large work truck hauling a trailer. The vehicle had struck the dog. Its owner, an older woman, was screaming as the driver, a short man, stopped the truck and climbed out to approach her.

There were many witnesses, and one young woman stopped to help carry the dog out of the road. Soon after, a police officer came and the driver of the truck was taken away after the dog and woman left for what I can only assume was to visit a veterinarian. Yesterday, flowers were left at the corner, marking the scene where the dog met an unfortunate and avoidable end.

I am shocked by the disregard drivers have for pedestrians when they turn left from Madison onto Fourth Street. During my job, I look out at that corner all day and see narrowly avoided accidents. In this situation, the driver could easily have struck the woman crossing the street instead of her dog. The dog was on a short leash.

Because I cross that street on my walk to work every morning, I have had many close calls with drivers in a rush to turn on a red who don't bother to look out for pedestrians.

Pedestrians in our town are not safe. This time it was an innocent dog. Next time it could be a child, their parent, a student, or anyone else. When will we begin to take the safety of our streets more seriously?

Sarah Olson

Corvallis (Feb. 24)

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