A flagger killed in a traffic collision on Highway 11 will be remembered during a candlelight vigil in Athena Thursday.
Gina Miller, a Umatilla County code enforcement officer and program coordinator who is helping to organize the event, wrote in an email that the vigil would be held at Weston-McEwen High School at 7 p.m. Attendees are being asked to bring their own candles during a ceremony where local clergy will lead the audience in prayer and song.
Tyresa Monaghan was killed Aug. 14 on Highway 11 near Athena while working as a flagger for an Oregon Department of Transportation paving project. The man accused of hitting her with his car, Leman Louis Bledsoe, 76, of Milton-Freewater, was charged with manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants, among other charges.
Although Monaghan’s family is from the Tri-Cities and the paving company she worked for is based in Spokane, Miller wrote that she “touched a lot of people in the brief time that she was flagging outside of Athena.”
Miller recounted that she had a 20-minute conversation with Monaghan after an Athena City Council meeting that she would remember for the rest of her life.
“That’s why I’m involved, she was just a very special lady and I felt compelled to do something for her memory,” she wrote.