CANBY -- A highway worker was struck and killed Tuesday evening on South New Era Road near Canby.
Police were dispatched about 7:40 p.m.to New Era and Haines roads on a report of a crash with a pedestrian and car.
Canby Fire Department crews tried to revive Gregory Priest, 48, of Salem. He was taken by Lifeflight to Legacy Emanuel where he was pronounced dead.
Priest's family sent KGW the following statement Wednesday night:
"We want to thank everyone for their thoughts and the kindness they have extended to us today, and also for respecting our privacy during this difficult time. This is hard beyond words. Not only did we lose our fun-loving, hard-working Greg in that accident, but his 6-year-old son lost his father. We are a close family, which makes this so hard to take but also helps hold us together. We will miss our time with Greg -- particularly the fishing trips he loved so much -- and we will keep his memory alive for his son. Thank you again for your prayers and understanding."
Bruce Dancer, 41, of Aurora was arrested and accused of DUII. He stopped immediately after the collision and called 9-1-1.
"There was plenty of light you know, it wasn't in a shady spot or anything like that," Clackamas Deputy Bryon O'Neil said.
Priest worked for the Knife River Corporation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Greg’s family, friends and co-workers as they deal with this unnecessary loss,” said Brian Gray, president of Knife River’s operations in Oregon. “This is a tragic reminder to drivers to slow down and pay extra attention in construction zones for their own safety and for the well-being of the men and women who are working there. Safety is more important to us than any job. We provide our team members extensive training to protect themselves and the traveling public, and we ask drivers to look out for us, too. Greg’s death is devastating to us.”
The company provided grief counselors for Priest's co-workers, several of whom said the best therapy was to simply go back to work on the paving project.
"So they are out there working hard," Gray said, "Knife River asks that you watch out for them today and every day."
"He loved his job, he loved his house, he met a new person that was special in his life and he was just happy about life just really doing good, I just hate to see everything cut so short," neighbor Debbie Harring said.
The accident remains under investigation.
Anyone who may have seen it was asked to call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's confidential Tip Line, 503-723-4949, or by using the online e-mail form.
KGW Reporter Kyle Iboshi contributed to this report