Dark had just fallen minutes after 5:00 pm, Tuesday, 1 December, as police responded to a call regarding an incident involving a pedestrian and vehicle. Dr. Selma Pierce (DMD), 66, was struck and killed by a Chevrolet SUV while walking along Doaks Ferry Rd., NW, near Hidden Valley Dr., NW. According to police reports, the area is dark and has sidewalk improvement on only the east side of Doaks Ferry. Although police are unsure about which side of the road Ms. Pierce was using, officers stated that she was in the roadway when struck.
Messages of grief and support quickly poured in from all quarters of Marion and Polk counties as well as political figures in Oregon government. The Pierces have been extensively involved in local philanthropic and charitable outreach as well as their own political campaigns. Husband Bud was the Republican nominee for governor in 2016 and Selma ran in 2018 and again this year for the legislature from House District 20. Social media lit up soon after Salem Police announced the death. Marion County Republicans chairman Mike Adams issued a statement by e-mail this morning:
We are deeply saddened by the news of Selma Pierce's sudden passing. She was a great leader with a passion for the people in our community, from her volunteer work, in dentistry, and her work with the late Senator Winters to helping with Bud's run for office and finally running for political office herself. She was always thinking of others, with her contagious smile and willingness to listen to everyone. It is a hard loss for our community. Our prayers go out to her husband Bud and her family!
Marion County Republicans State Rep. Mike Nearman (HD 23) posted to Facebook, "I'm very sad at the tragic passing of Selma Pierce. She was a person of courage and we need more of that." Marion County Republicans State Senator Kim Thatcher (SD 13) posted, "Terrible news and a huge loss for the Salem community. Karl and I want to give our sincerest condolences to the Pierce family today." She added, "At a time in her life when she could have just retired, she was constantly working to make our state better, and to ensure that people were healthy, educated, and prosperous."
Upon learning of his wife's death, Dr. Bud Pierce issued the following statement Tuesday night:
Selma Pierce, the glue of the Pierce family, an angel of a person, the only woman that I have ever loved, died this evening in a sudden and tragic accident. We cannot believe that she has left us, but we are comforted in the knowledge that she is with God, and we will see her again.
Thank you, Drs. Bud and Selma Pierce for sharing your lives with us and investing so much in our community to make it better. We mourn with you, Dr. Bud, and pray that the Lord will bless you with His close presence.