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Disaster and Accident

Journal columnist dies after accident

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Hoaglund, 61, known for writings on death

A Shelton woman known for her column about life and death in the Shelton-Mason County Journal died after being hit by a truck last week in downtown Olympia.

Maria "Dancing Heart" Hoaglund was walking with a friend on April 21 across the intersection of 4th Avenue West and Columbia Street Northwest when the driver of a Ford F-250 turned left as the signal changed and struck her and her friend, Donald Anderson.

Hoaglund, 61, died Friday, a day after being airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with severe head trauma.

Olympia police were notified of the accident after the driver of the vehicle, identified in Thurston County Superior Court as Jared Dishon, 19, of Shelton, called 911 and told dispatch that "it is not good, it is not good," according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Journal.

Dishon is charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Since Hoaglund died, vehicular manslaughter charges may be pursued.

As of Friday he was being held on $75,000 bond in Thurston County Jail.

In Hoaglund's life, the author and spiritualist tried to bring people closer and more comfortable with the thought of their own death.

"No matter what our religious or spiritual background may be, we must all face our death one day," she wrote on her website. "The sooner we can come to terms with 'the most important event of our life' the better."

She maintained throughout her life that people need to embrace dying as a "sacred and beautiful event... something we can even look forward to, when the time comes."

Unfortunately, the events surrounding Hoaglund's death are nothing short of tragic.

The accident occurred shortly after 6:30 p.m.

When an Olympia Police Department foot patrol arrived to the scene, both Hoaglund and Anderson lay unresponsive on the street.

The officers interviewed four people who said they were in the truck at the time of the accident.

Each person said the music inside the truck was loud when the accident happened. They told officers they had not seen Hoaglund and Anderson crossing the street.

When police interviewed Dishon, he told them that he was on Adderall, Suboxone — used to treat an opiate addiction — and marijuana, according to the affidavit.

Other witnesses at the scene said Dishon turned left quickly in the intersection when the light turned green. After he hit Hoaglund and Anderson, he backed up over them, according to the affidavit.

Anderson suffered broken ribs and a leg injury.

Hoaglund's column had appeared in the Journal since September. According to her obituary, she was born in Tokyo. She went to public school in Japan, and held degrees from Yale University and Chicago Theological Seminary.

She was the author of two books — "The Last Adventure of Life: Sacred Resources for Transition" and "The Most Important Day of Your Life: Are You Ready?"

Copyright 2016 Shelton-Mason County Journal, Shelton, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: April 28, 2016

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