Pedestrian Killed North of Florence

2 September 2014

Coast Radio News
Local News

North Florence Fatality

Police say it may have been an intentional act when a Florence man stepped in front of an oncoming car just north of town yesterday morning.

The crash occurred just before noon yesterday, the investigation continues.
Police say 48-year old Dewayne Arthur Meridith was a passenger in a car driven by his mother. She was trying to pull out onto Highway 101 from a private driveway and had come to a stop.

Meridith got out of the back seat and approached the road.  He then moved into the path of a northbound car.

19-year old Louis Castro of Keizer, Oregon attempted to miss Meridith by braking and veering to the left.

Meridith was transported to Peace Harbor Medical Center where he was declared dead.

Highway 101 was restricted to one-way traffic for several hours during the initial investigation. Troopers aid neither Castro, nor a 17-year old female riding with him, were injured.


Evening Crash Ties Up Traffic

Another crash in Florence disrupted traffic for a short time yesterday evening, but apparently yielded no injuries.

A passenger vehicle and an RV collided just after five pm on Highway 101 near Florence City Hall.

The force of the crash resulted in the RV laying on its side in the middle of the highway in front of the Krab Kettle.

No further details are available.

25 Years of Peace Harbor Hospital

In 1986 it became apparent in the community that something drastic was needed to ensure good health care in Florence. The hospital was aging; technology was lagging; and everyone involved agreed the best thing would be to find someone to build a new facility. Jim Barnhart, was the final administrator of Western Lane Hospital and became the first administrator of what would become Peace Harbor. He said the Sisters of St. Joseph, the order that operated Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene, agreed to take on the task…

Jim Barnhart – “There were three conditions that Peace Health presented to the community in order for the agreement to be executed.”

The first two were daunting enough:

Jim Barnhart – “A donation of a suitable ten acre site or larger; the public assets, all the equipment and accounts receivable and so forth that were the property of public hospital district would need to be legally transferred to the private non-profit organization PeaceHealth.”

The third condition, to raise $500-thousand seemed daunting as well. But when they blew through that three weeks in, they decided to keep going and eventually wound up with more than $1-million. Barnhart, Tom Grove and Rick Yecny will talk about the opening, 25 years ago, of Peace Harbor Hospital. That’s tomorrow afternoon on KCST’s Our Town.

Rods and Rhodies

More than one-hundred classic cars, hot rods, antiques and otherwise collectibles will converge on Old Town Florence this weekend for the seventh annual Rods and Rhodies.

Bay Street will be closed late Friday night and remain that way until noon Sunday for the show, transforming the area into a large pedestrian mall.

In addition to the car show itself, there will be a Pinewood Derby race Saturday morning and a car cruise during the evening.