Salem driver may have had ‘medical issue’ before hitting, killing pedestrian

A Salem man ran a red light on Center Street Northwest Tuesday afternoon before hitting and killing a pedestrian crossing the street, police said.

Salem Police spokesman Lt. Treven Upkes said the driver, Salem resident Willie Dempsey, 35, may have been “experiencing a medical issue” when he struck 27-year-old Wilsonville resident Marshal Leslie with a Cadillac SUV.

Upkes said police weren’t releasing the specifics of the medical issue at this time.

Leslie was pronounced dead at the scene.

Salem Police Department spokesman Lt. Treven Upkes said Dempsey remained on scene and was eventually transported to Salem Health for evaluation.

Upkes said no citations or arrests have been made. 

A section of Center Street Northwest was closed for several hours after the collision.

CORRECTION: Marshal Leslie’s first name was misspelled by police in their press release.

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at [email protected] or 503-549-6250

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