Fatal crash victim worked in Centennial district, studied social work
A man will spend 75 months in prison for the fatal hit-and-run car crash that claimed the life of 34-year-old Gresham resident and single mother Robin Marie Parks in October 2016.
Portland resident Laurence Dwayne Farrington, 29, has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and failing to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person, court records show. He ran from his wrecked car without stopping to help Parks.
Farrington's car collided with Parks' vehicle on Southeast Division Street near 139th Avenue around 9 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2016, in Portland. Parks was driving home to Gresham from a night class at Concordia University, where she was pursuing her bachelor's degree in social work, the school's student newspaper reported.
"It's a devastating loss for her family and the community," said Centennial School District counselor Andrea Rose, who mentored Parks for two years. "She was well on her way to being an amazing social worker and an amazing contributor to the community."
Parks worked as a mental health intern at Centennial in 2013 and 2014 while completing her two-year degree in mental health, social service and addiction counseling at Mt. Hood Community College.
She had recently moved to Gresham from Clackamas, Rose said, and had already found work at a local group care home.
"At the core she had a passion for helping people," Rose recalled. "It didn't seem like the punishment matched the crime."
Farrington and his two adult passengers fled the scene without stopping to render aid to Parks, who was later transported by ambulance to a local hospital. She died from traumatic injuries sustained in the crash.
U.S. Marshals arrested Farrington more than two months later inside a home in Clackamas County. The other two passengers in his car have never been identified.
Farrington has a long rap sheet dating back to 2004, according to a report by Multnomah County Deputy Doug Davidson, who concluded Farrington "poses a threat to the safety of the community and will likely re-offend."
In total, his name appears in police reports regarding larcenies, gunfire within city limits, several drug offenses, vandalism, theft of tires, what appears to be two other hit-and-runs, many counts of driving while suspended, a simple assault and multiple warrants for failing to appear in court. Not every police report generated an arrest or charges from prosecutors.
He has been formally charged and convicted for possession and delivery of cocaine in 2009, as well as driving under the influence of intoxicants in 2011.
In 2015, 10 bullets struck Farrington's residence off Northeast 125th Place in Portland — where he lived with his mother. Two bullets went through the front door in that incident. No one was injured in the shooting.
Farrington worked odd jobs as a painter and at a car dealership, and told booking deputies he survived off $500 to $1,000 a month. He has a 5-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, official records show.
Parks is survived by her 13-year-old daughter, her mother, Nancy, and a brother, Michael.
"She had learned through her studies and her life experience how to advocate for children and families facing significant challenges," the Concordia Connection newspaper wrote. "She is remembered for her kindness, strength, humor, integrity and passionate commitment to her friends and family."