Friends say hit-and-run victim was starting over

SEATTLE — When horrified eyewitnesses saw 42-year-old Rebecca Scollard hit and dragged by a truck at 9th Avenue and James Street on Thursday, they were hoping to find out who she was.

Homeless shelter directors Brigid Hagan and Pat Graham called KIRO-7’s Gary Horcher, to share the story of her personal struggles and redemption.

“She was a generous person,” said Graham. “Whatever little she had, she would share with everyone.”

Graham said Scollard lived in Seattle’s homeless shelters for years, fought addictions, and had run-ins with the law. But after a five-month stint in the King County jail for violating her probation, Scollard was clean, sober, and eager to start over.

”She was happy and she was looking forward to rehabilitating herself, said Hagan. “She was on her way to doing those things, and like that, she was gone.”

Graham said Scollard was beloved in her community.

“She was a good friend, and took care of people in a way that was pretty essential, she said."

"When she came (to visit friends at a shelter) yesterday, because she had gotten clean, she looked healthier than I had seen her in a very long time, and she was happy,” said Hagen.

Graham said Hagen walked a block from where she’d just said goodbye to friends, when she was hit by a Recology CleanScapes garbage truck which never stopped.

A surveillance camera recorded the incident and helped Seattle police find the truck and the driver.

On Friday, CleanScapes told KIRO-7 they are cooperating with investigators.

Detectives say the driver may not have known he hit someone.

The crosswalk at 9th and James has been called the most dangerous in Seattle.

"How can that many people be exposed to that kind of danger when it's in the center of three hospitals?" asked Graham.

Hagen says she avoids using the crosswalk, because traffic is usually very heavy and fast-moving.

"Now I will like it that much less, because that is the place where a woman that I cared about died a really gruesome death,” she said.