Vigil for Valatie woman killed by car

Columbia County

VALATIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The community in Valatie came together Sunday night to hold a vigil in honor of 77-year-old Joan Archer, who was tragically hit and killed by a car last week.

The beloved local business owner was crossing a crosswalk on Church Street in the village when 26-year-old David Parlman allegedly made a left turn off of Main Street. The case is still being investigated, and police say Parlman hit Archer with his Toyota Cruiser.

The owner of an antique store on Main Street, Archer was known by the entire village as a happy, positive, and ambitious person. She was a friend to everyone. Over 100 friends and family members attended the candlelight vigil to honor Archer with hugs, cheers, and tears.

Loved ones took to the microphone to share their favorite memories of Joan. “Honestly, heaven gained an earth angel,” said Jazz Salm. “She believed in people. She always gave everybody the benefit of the doubt.”

“She was my friend that I could tell anything to,” said another mourner. “I knew I would never feel judged.”

“Always willing to help people. And really cared about Main Street, and really cared about Valatie,” said Lisa Hill. She owns the storefront next to Archer’s and says they always discussed how to make the village safer.

Hill and others created a petition and collected dozens of signatures urging New York’s Department of Transportation (DOT) to create traffic controls on Main Street. They say big tragedies like these can’t happen in small villages like Valatie.

“It’s tragic. It’s horrifying,” Hill said. “It’s violent, and we’re done. The time has come to DOT to make it safer for pedestrians and drivers.”

“I walk these streets too, and there has been several times that I have to go ahead and worry about it myself,” Salm said.

Now, friends are running Archer’s store from Thursday through Sunday every week until July 4. They’re selling off every item, with proceeds going to her family. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to take a little part of Joan home with them,” Hill said.

Saying prayers, the community knows their beloved neighbor is still here in spirit and they will continue to cherish all the memories.

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