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Mother said wrongful death lawsuit was a "slap in the face"

The Riddle woman being sued for the wrongful death of her son said claims made in the lawsuit are false.

Rachelle Green said her ex-husband, Kevin Ford, sued her after she filed for custody of their other child last month.

The lawsuit was filed in Douglas County Circuit Court on Oct. 12 seeking nearly $1 million in noneconomic damages. In the documents, the last name of Rachelle Green and her current husband, Kyle Green, is misspelled.

Man sues ex-wife for wrongful death of son

A Marion County man is suing his ex-wife and her husband for the wrongful death of his 12-year-old son after he crashed into a tree while riding an adult-sized ATV unsupervised.

Green said she expected a response after she filed for custody, but “I never expected this big of a slap in the face.”

Attempts by The News-Review to reach the Greens for the original story were unsuccessful.

Green said the main claim of the lawsuit is that her son, Payton Ford, was unsupervised while riding an ATV, but the police report proves otherwise.

“Because Kevin was not there. And for his attorney to say that (Payton) was unsupervised, that my husband let him ride unsupervised, that was the first dinger. That he was left for an undisclosed amount of time,” Green said. “Those two things are what pisses me off the most, because they’re just lies.”

Green said her son was never left alone, and that he crashed his ATV while riding with her brother-in-law.

According to the police report, Nathan Watt, the child’s uncle, called 911 around 12:51 p.m. on April 7 to report that his nephew had wrecked his ATV.

Watt told Douglas County Emergency Communications that Payton was breathing but had lost consciousness, according to court documents.

An ambulance arrived on scene around 1:17 p.m. and took the 12-year-old to CHI Mercy Medical Center. Payton was then transported to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield with a traumatic brain injury, before being sent to Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, where he was pronounced dead.

Kyle Green, Payton’s stepfather, told the deputy that his bike ran out of gas, so Watt and Payton rode back to the truck to get a tow strap.

Watt told the deputy that Payton “blew through the corner,” lost control of the ATV and started sliding.

According to the police report, the ATV slid nearly 60 feet before hitting a tree head-on.

The deputy noted that the corner was muddy and had a downhill grade.

Green said her son was wearing proper safety gear — a helmet and riding pants.

She said her sons started out on smaller ATV’s and worked their way up. According to the police report, Watt said that Payton had a year of experience riding the bigger ATV.

Green said when her son crashed, she was about a half-mile away.

“When it all happened I heard yelling, and I said, ‘Something’s wrong,’” Green said. “And I knew that it was my son — just felt it.”

In the police report, a deputy said the case wasn’t criminal in nature and requested that it be cleared.

Mike Henneke/The News-Review  

Paving the way

A Knife River employee signals a truck driver dumping material into his commercial paver at the future home for Dollar General on northeast Diamond Lake Boulevard in Roseburg.

Mike Henneke/The News-Review  

A Knife River employee drives a utility compactor at the future site of Dollar General on northeast Diamond Lake Boulevard in Roseburg on Tuesday. Knife River workers spent the day paving the parking lot in advance of the store’s opening.

Sutherlin to consider new housing development

A housing develoment may soon take the place of two vacant lots in Sutherlin, if the project gets approved by the city’s planning commission.

The Planned Unit District will be the subject of a quasi-judicial hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at Sutherlin City Hall. City Planner Jamie Chartier isn’t expecting any opposition to the project, because there weren’t any written comments submitted by the Nov. 6 deadline.

“It’s like a subdivision, but they don’t have the lot size requirements,” Chartier said. “The remainder of that lot size is made up in open space.”

Westside Center, Inc., owner of the land, is proposing 22 duplex lots, with the goal of increasing up to 60 lots total.

“The developer has been working on the property for several years; then the economy went down,” Chartier said.

Westside Center, Inc. owner Phil Washburn said he bought the two lots in the past 15 years — totaling 18.92 acres — and held onto them. According to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office, the lots have a total real market value of $110,900 and $78,300.

“It was just an opportunity to own a valuable piece of property,” Washburn said Tuesday. “I didn’t pick Sutherlin; I’m a longtime resident of Roseburg, Sutherlin and the Umpqua Valley. I was going to pick up a piece of property that had development potential, so I did it. Now I think is the time to start development.”

Sutherlin’s population has increased by nearly 1,000 people since 2009 to its current total of 8,025, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

“It’s zoned for development, and economic conditions at this point for development are favorable to me,” Washburn said. “We intend to start this spring and test the market to see how well they sell.”

Write-in ballots decide Myrtle Creek's newest mayor

A week after Election Day, Myrtle Creek has its mayor.

Because no one filed for mayor of Myrtle Creek this election, the decision came down to counting write-in votes.

With 41 votes, Matthew Hald will become mayor of Myrtle Creek, according to unofficial final results from Douglas County Clerk Patricia Hitt. Diana Larson and Dan Jacoy each received 18 votes. There were 255 total write-in votes for mayor.

Hald had no idea he had won until he was contacted by The News-Review.

“That’s awesome,” Hald said when he heard the news. He said he will accept the position if the results stand.

Hald and his wife moved to Myrtle Creek from the Salem area in July 2017. He owns Superior Northwest Home Inspections in Myrtle Creek.

Hald was not planning to run for office this election season. But several of his neighbors, including City Councilor Henry Stevens, told him that no one filed for mayor. He was surprised that Mayor Ken Brouillard hadn’t filed to run again.

Hald’s neighbors asked if he would be interested in the position if they could rally enough write-in votes. Hald was interested, and two weeks before the election he made a Facebook post announcing that he was running a write-in campaign. He said he also started telling people around town.

“There are a lot of good things that Myrtle Creek has going for it,” Hald said. “There are a lot of people who keep this town going and I just want to be a part of it and continue to grow what Mayor Ken Brouillard has started with the council and the chamber of commerce.”

Hald said he hasn’t come up with an agenda for the city yet.

“I just want to do what’s best and do what’s best for the city,” he said.

This story originally published at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2018.