Victim identified in fatal hit-and-run crash

Laura Mavoreen Whalen was hit near West 11th Avenue and Olive Street on Sunday night. There is a GoFundMe page available.

Posted: Aug 25, 2021 10:52 AM
Updated: Aug 26, 2021 7:15 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The victim in a fatal hit-and-run crash near downtown Eugene has been identified as Laura Mavoreen Whalen, 47, of Eugene, according to court documents.

The driver, Danny R. Young, 49, of Springfield remains in the Lane County jail, charged with failure to perform duties of a driver to injured persons and misdemeanor driving while suspend or revoked.

Young turned himself into police on Monday morning.

Authorities initially reported that the victim was a 40-year-old woman who had a bicycle at the time of the crash. 

According to officials, Young hit Whalen at West 11th Avenue and Olive Street at 8:40 p.m. Sunday. The light-colored, full-size truck then left the area.

Whalen's daughter, Ashley Cadiz, told KEZI she is absolutely heartbroken by her mother's death.

According to Cadiz, police told her that Young drove away with her mother's bike stuck under his truck-- leaving Laura dead alone on the ground.

Cadiz said she was waiting for her mom to come home from work-- but Laura never made it home. Whalen lived close to the intersection. 

Cadiz said the worst part about it was she didn't find out until Tuesday, Aug. 24.

With tears running down her face--she told KEZI what she would say to Young if she had the chance.

"Why would you leave my mom," Cadiz said. "Why would you leave her lying there? Because I know that when someone hits a curb, they stop to make sure they hit a curb."

Cadiz said this was her mom's time in life to have fun and live in the moment. But Young took that all away from her when she was riding her bike home. 

Whalen rode her bike everywhere-- she never got her driver's license because when she was younger--her best friend was killed by a drunk driver. 

Cadiz said her mom was her best friend-- they even worked together at Fillmore Wholesale. She said it was all smiles and laughs all day long working alongside her. 

Daniel Isaacson, Whalen's boss, said he can't remember a day when she didn't show up to work with a big smile on her face. 

"She was just one of those-- you could tell right away-- she was one of those people that was going to add something to the team," Isaacson said. "The fact that the team is as hard hit today as they are is horrible. But it is also an indication of how much she was cared for."

Cadiz told KEZI she believes justice is served by, "honestly knowing that he won't be able to get behind the wheel again and do this to another person."

Young shouldn't have even been on the road-- he was driving with a suspended license. This isn't his first felony either. According to court records, he's been charged for over 35 offenses since 1990. Most of those involved a vehicle. 

If you'd like to help the family during this tragic time-- there is a GoFundMe page.

Here is the link: https://gofund.me/4f984e33.

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