MITCHELL, Ore. - (Update: Adding celebration of life planned Friday afternoon)
A 12-year Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday evening on state Highway 207 in Wheeler County, Oregon State Police reported.
Troopers and emergency personnel responded around 7:30 p.m. to the reported crash on Highway 207 near milepost 18, north of Mitchell.
They said a preliminary investigation found that Christopher Jones, 48, was riding a black 2017 Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound on the highway when for unknown reasons he left the highway on a corner and crashed.
Jones, who was off-duty at the time, sustained fatal injuries and died at the scene, troopers and deputies said.
OSP was assisted at the crash scene by the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office, Spray Ambulance and ODOT.
Motorists in Bend witnessed a lengthy police procession Tuesday morning as nearly 50 law enforcement and public safety vehicles traveled from a Prineville funeral home to one in Bend.
Jones was hired as a Deschutes County sheriff's deputy in the fall of 2007, state online records show. Previously, he served as a Lane County sheriff's deputy since 2001.
The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office posted a Facebook statement later Tuesday, sharing "with great sadness ... the tragic death of one of our own."
Sheriff Shane Nelson said, “Chris was a kind man with a positive attitude. He will be missed by our office and our community. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and teammates.”
"We have lost a coworker, a friend, a loved one, and a brother," the sheriff added. "Our thoughts are with Chris’ family during this extremely difficult time."
The Deschutes County Sheriff Employees Association has established a GoFundMe page to support Jones' family in the coming weeks. The page can be found at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jones-family-benevolant-fund…
The family announced a celebration of life is planned for Friday at 4 p.m. at the Christian Life Center, 21720 Highway 20, just east of Bend
The Wheeler County Sheriff's Office posted a brief item on Facebook about the crash.
"Please, anyone traveling to or through Wheeler County, be aware of the increased number of motorcycles on the road this time of year," the agency wrote. "If you are traveling through Wheeler County on a motorcycle, please drive carefully and slow down for corners. Drive defensively and don't ride beyond your limits."
Late last year, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel found Jones was legally justified in twice shooting fleeing felon Brandon Berrett at the Funny Farm north of Bend as his car sped toward him and a fellow deputy. Hummel said the car missed Jones by "mere inches."