By News-Register staff • 

Willamina Creek Road crash claims two lives, including Willamina resident

Submitted photo##McMinnville Fire Department Rope Rescue Team responded to the Sunday morning double-fatal crash.
Submitted photo##McMinnville Fire Department Rope Rescue Team responded to the Sunday morning double-fatal crash.

A vehicle plunged more than 100 feet over an embankment, killing two people and injuring four others Sunday morning in rural Willamina.

The victims were identified as Kennyth Charles Holsclaw, 22, of Willamina, and Cody Michael Thomas, 21, of Mt. Angel in Marion County, according to Capt. Chris Ray of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office.

“Due to injuries and medical attention, the investigation into much of what occurred is on hold,” he said. “We expect to have more information later this week.”

Medical and rescue crews from the Sheridan/Southwestern Polk and West Valley Fire District responded shortly after 6 a.m. to the crash site in the 20000 block of Willamina Creek Road.

They initially were told there were four to six people in a vehicle that had gone over a cliff. Three victims were found in two locations along the road and all were transported to Salem Hospital.

When deputies located the crash site, the McMinnville Fire Department Rope Rescue Team responded because of the rugged and steep terrain.

Holsclaw and Thomas were pronounced dead at the scene. Another victim was rescued and transported by Life Flight helicopter to a Portland trauma hospital.
Names, ages and cities of residence for the injured have not been released by the sheriff’s office.



Thank God that we didn't already defund the Police/Fire Department or there may have been even more casualties than just the two. Horrific accident for sure!


Hibb: Nobody *anywhere* is calling for defunding fire departments. Additionally, with respect to police, "defund" does not mean "abolish" as most people define the term; it means redirect funding so non-law enforcement folks can do the social work police are now routinely being called on to do but for which they are not trained.
Indeed, in the case of this accident, it does not yet appear that a crime occurred, so perhaps first responders other than police were most needed, and they did indeed respond.


BT: Well... Not yet.
If I were in that situation and it was truly an accident, I'd still want the police to respond.
That whole " redirect funds" schtick is no longer amusing. I want my Police to be funded and to help me if I want it. I don't really have any desire to see a "counselor", as if they could be of help. I don't need someone sitting down with me, softly holding my hand and trying to encourage me. Give me a break! All of that quack-a-doodle stuff is better doled out to something stationary, like a tree or rock rather than forcing it upon someone who didn't ask for it, didn't hint at it, or thinks they'd rather a cop was on the scene, which is like me.
I -like so many of the NR readers- come from a different time. We were taught to try and be self-sufficient and if we could not muster up the courage, then to ask for help. I make no apologies for my traditional, conservative ways. I'd rather be me than some wambi-bambi wannabe liberal progressive.
I wonder BT if you would prefer for a "counselor" to come over to your house while an angry mob from Antifa attacks it or if you'd like to have your police funded for just such a thing?


Hibb: Obviously an angry mob attacking me would be committing a crime, so you just made my point. Law enforcement is to enforce the law, not do social work intervention. Did you not understand that "defund" does *not* mean zeroing out funds? And that *not abolishing* the police means they would still be there to protect us from Antifa (snark)?
BTW, Hibb, good luck finding a police officer armed with the jaws of life at an accident scene. I'd rather the fire department and EMS show up first and more quickly in that situation.


How do we know a crime wasn't committed? Has DUI been ruled out?


Myopinion: Again, exactly my point. If a crime is suspected of having been committed then the police investigate. But first responders like fire and EMS should be the *first* responders, to take care of the injured, which is clearly a more time-sensitive need than a DUI investigation. Police can be called in later if needed. Shift funding to fire, EMS and other agencies to deal with prevention and recovery from non-criminal events.


Kind of like "like your doctor keep your doctor" there have to be doctors. With the terrible way these officers are being treated and demonized there have to actually be police officers available to show up. They're retiring and quitting at a rapid rate right now. Don't blame them a bit.

Paul Daquilante

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate this crash, according to Capt. Chris Ray, to determine a cause and if any charges will be filed.

Multiple people to interview, all of whom were hospitalized.

These investigations are not completed overnight. Particularly in a case like this - double-fatal and four injured, all of whom required hospitalization.

Paul Daquilante/reporter


Gotta say you sound a little paranoid if you think an angry mob from Antifa is coming to attack your house. Seems so far the bad players in the current protester are right wing white supremicist types. They’ve charged a boogaloo boy for murdering cops in California and the boys from Idaho who wanted to kill protesters in LasVegas. As far as terrorists, what about Joey and the Patriot Prayer group who come across state lines to hold their rallies in PDX with the expressed hope of killing an Antifa or bankrupting the police dept? Seems like your fear is a little misplaced.


I wanted to see a source for Finch's comment about police quitting and retiring at a rapid rate now. So I Googled "police quitting in record numbers" and got multiple pages of references. But on closer examination the dates of stories on this "trend" go way back. So this is not a recent issue just tied to any of the numerous events of the last few weeks and months. But we should also realize that there are many possible reasons police quit and retire that could be entirely unrelated to the way they are "being treated and demonized." For example -- and I was just reasoning this out before doing any research -- there was probably a hiring surge back in the tough on crime era and those folks are reaching their pension-eligible age, so retirement is a reasonable choice. According to one 2018 source that Google popped up, Mike Fields, executive director of human resources for the Seattle Police Department, told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH: “I think a lot of factors are coming into play. One, there’s fierce competition across jurisdictions in this area and as we look nationwide ... being competitive to attract laterals. That’s a piece of it. We also have a demographic bubble of a large number of hires ... [who] are now eligible for retirement.”
So we should not make broad assumptions about the reasons for officers leaving. Policing is a high-stress job. There are myriad reasons to get out. Stress is just one reason. Life is idiosyncratic.

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