On Saturday night, family and friends of Jeneé
Hammel and Danielle Sale marked the one-year anniversary of the night the two women were killed by a TriMet bus. They honored the pair with a "celebration of life" at Harvey's Comedy Club and a candlelight vigil at the site of the crash in Old Town.
At 11:45 pm on Saturday April 23, about 70 mourners retraced the walk Hammel and Sale took just before midnight on April 24, 2010. The two were heading to their car after enjoying a comedy show at Harvey's when a TriMet bus struck the pair and three others who were crossing the street.
"My son says he can still hear them laughing," says Hammel's mother Vicky Flynn. "We wanted to come and experience that and try to bring something more upbeat to our lives."
At the crash site on the corner of Northwest Broadway and Glisan Street, the mourners lit candles in front of framed pictures of the victims and released balloons as a live band played worship music.
Danielle Sale's father David says he put together the event because, unable to bring back his daughter, he "didn't know what else to do."
The two women and their three companions were struck by a bus after its driver, Sandi Day, made an illegal left turn onto Northwest Broadway. Ryan Hammel, Jamie Hammel and Erik Gittings were injured but survived the collision. Day was found guilty of six traffic violations in February and was given a $1,000 fine plus community service.
The incident also sparked investigations into TriMet's safety procedures, resulting in the recent addition of monthly safety metrics and collision statistics on TriMet's online "performance dashboard."