Paths cross in tragedy, leaving young man 'devastated'
No charges have been filed against 19-year-old Trent Long, and no one has blamed the young man from Gaston for the accident last week that killed a Washington County detective.
But family members and local clergy said Long was responsible for the death of 47-year-old Randall L. Nunnenkamp, a county sheriff's office detective killed last week while he was off-duty and riding his Harley Davidson near the intersection of North Valley Road and Laughlin Road in Yamhill County.
Long's father, Harold, said his son was driving his 1986 Nissan truck - a graduation gift - northbound at about 4:18 p.m. June 6 when sunlight blinded him and caused him to cross the centerline and hit Nunnenkamp and the driver of a 2001 Chrysler Mini-van who was traveling behind the motorcycle.
Nunnenkamp died at the scene.
The driver of the mini-van, 35-year-old Jean Woll of McMinnville, was taken to a local hospital and was not seriously injured.
Long, who was life-flighted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, came home the next day and has a twisted ankle, Harold Long said.
His son is devastated by the accident, he said.
'He's a responsible, caring kid,' said Harold Long who runs a local tire shop with his brother, Harold.
'Both me and Trent, we've talked about it for hours on end with clergy and with police officers and we're devastated. The best word we can use is that we're devastated by it in every way we can.'
A spokesman for the Yamhill County Sheriff's Office said the investigation into the cause of the accident is expected to be completed by the end of the week. Officials should know by then if any charges will be filed, Summers said.
Eric Schmitt, a pastor at Wapato Valley Church, has had several conversations with Long about the accident.
'It's tough on him,' Schmitt said. 'It's very tough on him. He's wrestling through the issues.'
According to his father, Trent Long's goal in life was to become a police officer.