Neighbors remember pedestrian killed in Eugene

In an exclusive interview with KEZI, Jack Payson recalled the night he lost his friend in the deadly crash.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 9:28 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 6:07 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A neighbor and close friend of the pedestrian that was hit and killed Friday in Eugene is speaking out.

In an exclusive interview with KEZI, Jack Payson recalled the night he lost his friend in the deadly crash.

RELATED: Crash kills 1, shuts down River Road in Eugene

Payson said he tried to convince himself the moment he saw his friend in the road was a dream.

He said before his friend was hit, he spent days raving about a brand new pair of shoes.

Payson said the moment he heard sirens late Friday night, he ran out to the street and found the shoes lying next to his friend.

That's when the nightmare became a reality.

"I couldn't believe it was him at first," he said. "I saw his shoe on the ground. I saw them working on him. I was in awe like 'no this can't be right.'"

He said walking River Road was a part of his friend's daily routine.

"He was just a very happy guy. You never see a frown on his face," Payson said. "He's always happy. Stubborn at times. I mean, the cross walks in one spot and he'd still no matter what, always walk across the street at the same spot every day."

He and his neighbors are concerned about the safety of pedestrians and drivers on River Road.

"It's dark. Very dark," he said. "Even the street lights don't brighten it up. We need to change those."

He is pleading for drivers to pay more attention to their safety and the safety of others.

"Pay attention to the roads," he said. "Get off your stupid cell phones. Quit paying attention to the radio ... rocking out. Pay attention to the damn road. That's what it's there for. That's what your supposed do. Look out for pedestrians, please."

The victim's identity has not been released yet.

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