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Female Transient Killed in Crosswalk Crash

The 54-year-old woman died Monday morning after she was struck by a car near Lincoln Boulevard and Ashland Avenue in Santa Monica.

A woman struck by a 65-year-old driver late Sunday night in Santa Monica has succumbed to her injuries.

The woman was indentified by police as a 54-year-old transient. Her name was withheld pending notification of her family.

She was in a crosswalk on the east side of Lincoln Boulevard when a southbound car turning left onto Ashland Avenue struck her at about 10:30 p.m. She sustained major injuries and was taken to a local trauma center, where she died early Monday morning, according to the Santa Monica Police Department. 

The driver of the vehicle was a Santa Monica resident. He "was cooperative throughout the investigation and was determined to not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol," said Sgt. Richard Lewis. "After being interviewed, he was released pending further investigation."

Anyone with information was asked to contact Investigator Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954 or St. Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department's 24/7 line at (310) 458-8495.

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Evan July 02, 2012 at 10:22 PM
What does the victim's housing status have to do with her being hit by a car while she was in a crosswalk? Why are we not told of the social status of the person who has killed her with their car, by failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, as required by law?
Dan Charney July 02, 2012 at 10:30 PM
I have had people dressed in dark clothing, and on bikes with no lights who jump in front of your car in a crosswalk - not giving time to stop no matter how within the speed limits you are- late at night in the total dark - you cannot always see them until it's too late or stop- they need to stop it -
Gary Kavanagh July 02, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Drivers need to stop going so damn fast. Especially at night the concept of speed limits is completely thrown out the window by nearly every driver on the road. Last time I checked people do not have a legal obligation to wear bright clothing to walk, but drivers have a responsibility to drive safely within both the limits spelled out in the law and for the context of the present conditions.
Nick Steers July 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
It is dark and people should just not go in the crosswalk before it is clear!
Gary Kavanagh July 02, 2012 at 10:59 PM
It's pretty much standard reporting procedure in the United States to make the victim look like they matter less with descriptions like "transient", so it's okay for us to move on with business as usual.
Nick Steers July 02, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Evan, One was in a car and the other had no car. It was just a description of the people involved! No social status was perceived by me!
Jenna Chandler (Editor) July 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Actually, I used "transient" in place of her city of residence, which is what we and other media would use to identify a victim.
Surviving Hit July 02, 2012 at 11:12 PM
I find the cars drive the people now a days and not people driving the cars. I was hit last year by a vehicle while having the right of way. People do not like to stop for the light no matter what; thank God my children had gone ahead of me. Something needs to be done about these careless driver. I really don't understand what her living status has to do with her being hit and dying. Only In America.. We lost our love for others life. I'm sure the driver is hurting today since he cooperated. God bless both families.
Helen Zielinski Landon July 02, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Evan, I agree with you completely...I find this highly offensive..
Gary Kavanagh July 02, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Quite frequently I read the term used to imply someone is homeless, often in various new media. If it is not being intended to be used that way, I think there needs to be a better consensuses about the usage of the word, or a different choice of words made.
Nick Steers July 02, 2012 at 11:22 PM
What should the writer have used as a description of the victim?
Gary Kavanagh July 02, 2012 at 11:40 PM
"Woman" I think would be the more appropriate word, or pedestrian could be used to imply walking on foot and be gender neutral. People generally don't label themselves by their housing status, and just because police use that description doesn't mean the media has to use the same language to lead the story with their headline. A person died crossing the street, I don't understand why their housing status is the most important detail to lead with, whether that be the definition of a resident elsewhere, or as the word is sometimes used, to imply being homeless. Is her life more or less important because of her residency status?
Craig McCoy July 02, 2012 at 11:44 PM
How about bum or hobo? Get real. Transient is not offensive. As the writer stated it is common practice to state where a person resides. I guess we could become even more politically correct and discribe them as a person of the world or resident of Palisades Park.
Nick Steers July 02, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Ashland is not near Palisades Park so that would probably be a bad assumption! We have people living in most of our park and beaches.
Gary Kavanagh July 03, 2012 at 12:32 AM
The problem isn't just in the singular use of a word, or even how the meaning is interpreted in this instance, but in the pattern of usage, and applying words to some people and not others. In the case of traffic collisions specifically, pedestrians and bicyclists will sometimes get the label "transient", but the residency status of the driver is not listed. Try googling transient + driver together in news stories and nothing relevant comes up, but do the same for the words cyclist or pedestrian, and tons come up. A dichotomy is established of holding drivers to a different standard, and subtle tweaks in language used or not used load the way stories are perceived. Which is not suggest Patch is trying to load these kinds of meanings on purpose, this sort of stuff had become deeply embedded into our cultural understanding through repetition.
lahope July 03, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Thanks for speaking up on this issue, Gary.
PJ July 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Wow. Gary. Dead wrong. Take a deep breath and reread the article. "The driver of the vehicle was a Santa Monica resident." That is precisely the "residency status of the driver," which in fact, is listed. Evan, "transient" means (1) not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory (2) lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: transient authority (3) staying only a short time: the transient guests at a hotel and as a noun (4) a person or thing that is transient, especially a temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like. None of the above refer to any type of "social status." You also mix housing status with social status. Good reporting by Ms. Chandler. No harm. You guys need to settle down and stop projecting your own political correct agenda on someone who is just reporting the facts. She simply reported THE FACTS. If you want to argue semantics and redefine words, I suggest you start your own club and stop harassing someone who is REPORTING THE FACTS.
PJ July 03, 2012 at 10:27 PM
*politically correct agenda... excuse me
Gary Kavanagh July 03, 2012 at 10:42 PM
What I meant to say is not that the residency status is never mentioned for the driver, but that the word transient as a description is nearly never used to describe a driver in a traffic collision. Try a google, search, I came up blank on looking for a transient driver in the context of a story like this, but transient cyclist, transient pedestrian, fills volumes.
Traci Taft July 03, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Her name is Debi she has home and a big family. I think Women or Santa Monica resident would be have been a better term. It is offensive and cant even fathom you putting hobo or bum. Do you know her life?
Jennifer White July 03, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Jul. 3, 2012, 9:59:31 am Linda said... I reported this intersection twice, once when I almost got run down Lincoln and Ashland and another time when my son got hit on Lincoln and Ashland! This was reported to Lucy Dyke at the City. This was hardly handled as the City did not own Lincoln Blvd. I begged her to strip the crosswalk with big bright white strips and it was NOT done or possibly looked into. People zoom up and down Ashland Ave. finish their turns and do not look to see if people are crossing either on Lincoln or Ashland. Something must be DONE!!!
Jennifer White July 04, 2012 at 12:27 AM
This "Woman" happens to be my Mother. That being said, woman or female or pedestrian would have been description enough. I agree that the word "transient" implies at 1st glance that the person is homeless or without a social status in this world. I agree that it is 100% offensive. I dont think that the writer meant it in any disrespect but in the future should refrain from such unnecessary descriptions. It does not and should not matter where she lives or lived. It does not matter whether she was homeless or rich. What matters is that she was walking in an unsafe, unlit crosswalk that was not properly stripped, (the city has been informed in many past incidents) and was as a result hit and killed. Now the facts need to be addressed. Was this elderly man under the influence of any prescription meds. or was he impaired at all? We don't know. Was he visually or audio impaired during the accident....again we do not know. We as her family have not even been informed of his name, if he has a vaild drivers license and insurance or if he is even a citizen. Wether he is a santa monica residence doesnt matter. That says nothing about the accident. The facts are she was fatally injured and died. She is survived by her 3 daughters, Mother and large family. We loved her greatly and she will be missed. Her name was DEBORAH. She loved to sing and play guitar. Any information that anyone has regarding the details of this accident please contact her family directly at jenloveshrant@gmail.com
Jennifer White July 04, 2012 at 12:39 AM
PJ & Jenna, "transient" means (1) not lasting, enduring, or permanent; transitory (2) lasting only a short time; existing briefly; temporary: transient authority (3) staying only a short time: the transient guests at a hotel and as a noun (4) a person or thing that is transient, especially a temporary guest, boarder, laborer, or the like. ****My Mother was none of these 4 descriptions. The only thing temporary was her life that was taken short. I have read another article referring to her as "homeless" and "Hispanic". She was neither. Society has really gone wild with assumptions and stereotypes. Because a person has a Spanish last name does it make them Hispanic, because a person carries a bag does it make them homeless? And if they were homeless, does it mean their death means less then yours? I agree that nothing was mentioned re: the driver being homeless or having a home and i agree strongly that when you do mention these words, like transient or homeless, that people will jump to conclusions.
Suzanne July 04, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I have to agree with Gary!!! She was a longtime friend! Her NAME was Debie Taft she was from Pacific Palisades originally lived in AZ for some time with her family and moved back to Santa Monica a few years ago! And, she was NOT at fault with this horrific tragedy!!! It's very unfortunate! And I'm sorry but, its NO ONES BUSINESS what her LIFE status was!! Thanks again Gary!! She was a beautiful girl with alot of spirit and braveness. She will be deeply missed! Thats all ppl need to know from a damn newspaper! Jeez!!!
Killeen Pilon July 04, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Someone has startled a shrine to Deborah at the corner where she was hit. Lincoln is a highway. As Jennifer White indicated, people drive too fast ieverywhere, but this intersection is poorly lit. a neighbor
Jennifer White July 07, 2012 at 03:34 AM
GIVE FORWARD.COM PLEASE HELP OUT OUR FRIEND!!! Account is in Amber Hollands name! This is my mother debie taft's funeral cost fundraiser. Please help us raise the money to bring my mom home. Anything will help. Thank you. My mother debie taft, 54, was hit by a car at around 10:30 pm on the 1st of july, she sustand major brain damage and died at 9am on the 2nd of july. The driver did have insurance but the detectives said the investtigation will take months and we will not see any insurance money for around 6 months, her body is in california, we need to cremate her and bring her ashes back to arizona, and because it was so unexpected we have no money. Anything would help and will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and god bless..
amber holland March 23, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Reading this months after my mothers death still gets me so angry... in the beginning I was angry because my mother was killed... the first thing I wanted to do was jump on jenna and be angry about the article and be angry at the man who hit my mother... now months later I am just so angry that NOTHING has been done to make the streets safer... as my sister jennifer said something needs to be done to make it safer to legally cross the street! Since july I have read 7 articles of pedestrians being hit and killed in santa monica... and numerous more of people being injured because they were hit, thankfully there lives were spared...let's get down to what really matters and make the streets safer. Let's not argue about stuff that doesn't help the situation and band together so no more families have to go thru what my family has been forsed to go thru.

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