Madras paramedic dies, six days after Hwy. 97 crash

OSP: Driver failed to stop at stop sign, hit motorcycle

MADRAS, Ore. - A long-time paramedic and manager with Jefferson County EMS died at a Bend hospital Wednesday evening, six days after his motorcycle was struck by a car whose driver allegedly ran a stop sign at an intersection on Highway 97 south of Madras.

Donald Heckathorn, 64, of Madras, manager of Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, died at St. Charles-Bend, where he was flown after Thursday afternoon's accident and had remained in critical condition.

His son, sheriff's Capt. Marc Heckathorn, passed word to his colleagues that Don Heckathorn "passed away very peacefully at 7:20 p.m., surrounded by his friends and family," according to an e-mail message sent by sheriff's Sgt. Jason Erickson.

"I responded to him on behalf of everyone at JCSO that all of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family," Erickson wrote.

The Madras Pioneer reported Heckathorn, who was born in Nampa, Idaho, moved to Madras with his family in 1962 and became chief of the EMS agency in 2007.

Oregon State Police said Heckathorn was wearing a helmet when his 2012 Harley Davidson was struck by a 1998 Cadillac four-door driven by Gerald S. Green, 36, of Prineville.

Green was heading east on Southwest Dover Lane around 3 p.m. last Thursday when, troopers said, he failed to stop at the stop sign and struck Heckathorn's northbound motorcycle.

Green was not injured in the crash, troopers said last Friday.

OSP said Thursday it is continuing the investigation in cooperation with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office. An enforcement decision has not been made at this time, troopers said.

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