GLIDE — April Miller leaned against a black SUV, her sister Amber Gaddy standing at her side, near a scarred oak tree at 2412 Little River Road on Saturday afternoon.
Tears were ready to fall — again — moments after the women had inspected the makeshift memorial erected around the base of the small tree.
A single dog tag hung from the tree, “Isaac Hartwick. Cody Cunningham. Rest in Peace.” stamped upon its silver face next to the words “I love you boys” carved into the bare trunk.
Hartwick, 21, and Cunningham, 20, died in a single-vehicle accident Friday night when their 2004 Mazda M-3 sedan left Little River Road and struck the tree around 9 p.m.
Emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls at about 9 p.m. Friday reporting a crash in the 2300 block of Little River Road, just more than 2 miles south of the Highway 138E junction.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to the accident along with fire and EMS personnel.
Douglas County Sheriff spokesperson Brad O’Dell said an investigation revealed the vehicle was being operated by the 20-year-old Cunningham, also legally known as Cody James Scheler of Glide. Cunningham, an elder brother to 2018 Glide graduate Cyller Cunningham and GHS junior quarterback Caidyn Cunningham. Cody Cunningham was in the Glide class of 2016, and the son of Beth Ison.
Deputies are continuing their investigation, and believe speed was a contributing factor.
Posts on social media reflected the same message from friends and family; “Rest in Peace, boys” was a common sentiment.
“What my half-sisters, my sisters are going through — it’s their kids,” said Will Reddekopp, the youngest uncle to both Hartwick and Cody Cunningham. “We’ve always been very, very close, not like a nephew thing at all. More like brothers.”
The men were cousins, traveling to Cunningham’s home after attending Glide High School’s football game.
“We had all been at my nephew Caidyn’s football game at Glide High School and both boys had said they wouldn’t miss his game,” Hartwick’s mother Miller said. “They were really proud of him. And coming home from the game — they didn’t make it home.”
Both Cody Cunningham and Hartwick were athletes in their own right.
Cody Cunningham played football at Glide in 2013, while Hartwick played football, baseball and wrestled at Roseburg High School. Hartwick was outfielder for Dr. Stewart’s after his senior year of high school in 2015.
“He was a fierce competitor, but he always had a smile,” Dr. Stewart’s coach Scott Shaver said of Hartwick. “He was my favorite type of kid — a little left to right, a bit of a wild card, and he would give you everything he had.”
“Ever since he played for me, anytime I saw him I always got a hug and that smile,” he said. “That’s what I will remember, is that smile.”
Both leave behind a huge extended family and plethora of friends. More than 20 vehicles and approximately 80 people gathered at the Cunningham residence on Saturday afternoon further up Little River Road.
“They were just amazing, amazing, God-fearing boys,” Gaddy said. “They showed so mch love. They were the first ones to come out and give you a hug, no matter how far away you were standing. Big family people. Big into sports. Hardworking boys.”
“Me and Isaac got to play ball and football and wrestled together, we were always playing together and really close, Cody too,” Reddekopp, a 2016 RHS graduate, said. “Anyway, it started way younger than that. Cody was at our house all the time when we were younger. He grew up with me, practically.”
Reddekopp learned of the family tragedy from afar. He’s a college student living in Corvallis and playing baseball at Linn-Benton Community College.
“Me and my dad and my brothers were not in Roseburg, we were in Eastern Oregon hunting,” Reddekopp said. “It makes it that much worse, to not be there. I’m going to try and get there as soon as I can. I love them like my brothers and I’m thankful for the time that I got to spend with them.”
“We’re not real clear — there’s a piece of tire up there, like a tire blew, and then last night when we were saying goodbye to the boys there was a buck standing here by the tree and we’re not sure if that had something to do with it or not,” Miller said. “We’ll never know for sure, but there was not drinking and driving involved. There was no one else in the car like people were speculating.”
The sheriff’s office is looking for anyone who may have additional information about the crash. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s office at 541-440-4471, referencing case number 18-4106.
Hartwick was employed by Zerbach Construction. Cody Cunningham had also been employed at Zerbach, but had recently begun working with his step-father, Trevor Ison, according to Miller.
Saturday afternoon, as Miller and Gaddy stood on the side of the road, Isaac Hartwick’s phone continued to blow up with text messages.