Surfer Identified as Florence Man – Accident Closes Bridge – Seniors Parade

Florence man identified in last week’s drowning 

Authorities identified 31 year old Stefen Ray Nutter of Florence as that of the deceased person who was located Thursday in the ocean north of Florence.  Nutter was reported missing Wednesday after not returning from a surfing trip in the area. At this time there is no evidence of foul play or criminal activity contributing to his death. 

At approximately 10:30pm Thursday night the Sheriff’s Office received a call about an overdue surfer in the area of Heceta Beach north of Florence. Lane County Sheriff Search and Rescue along with United States Coast Guard personnel responded and began searching the area. 

Close to noon Friday, Coast Guard personnel located a deceased subject in the water not far from where the overdue surfer was believed to have been surfing.


Area motorists were brought to a halt last night as a motor vehicle crash on the Siuslaw River Bridge blocked north and south traffic for over an hour. Florence Police arrived at the scene just after 5:30 to find one vehicle had been driving southbound entering onto the bridge striking a motorcycle, before continuing on to strike a second. Florence Police state that at that point the suspect stopped and the female operator of the motorcycle was able to climb away from her bike that was lodged under the vehicle. At that point the suspect accelerated, dragging the motorcycle under his vehicle, before crashing into a van. Operators of the van and the two motorcycles were transported to Peace Harbor Hospital. Florence Police arrested 31 year old Florence resident Luke Taylor for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver, which is Felony hit and run and multiple other counts of Reckless Endangering. Taylor was also cited for driving while suspended.  


Friday afternoon the Siuslaw Senior Class made their way through the city in their newly adopted tradition of a senior parade.  Born out of the pandemic, it is a way for the young men and women to give a ceremonial goodbye to school days and hello to adult hood.  Senior Chad Hughes also knows it is time to say thank you to all the suppor the community has shown.

“I think it’s awsome to see, you know, the community come to support us.  They’ve supported us the whole year with all our activities, the scholarshiip night, they just totally giving everything they have for us.  I think it is cool to see that the communitu support for us graduating.”

The parade traveled from Siuslaw High School  north on Oak Street and along a portion of Highway 101.


The City of Florence Housing Implementaion Plan Stakeholder Advisory Team (SAT) will discuss housing issues this Wednsday at the Florence Events Center at 3pm.  The team will review stakeholder interviews and discuss short-term rental strategies before providing intitial input and recommendations.  The city is soliciting public involvement with a team that includes representatives from city departments, the local business community, education, housing, social services, health advocates and housing development.  The Stakeholder Advisory Team is tasked to provide recommendations on key project issues and decisions, provide guidance on scenarios and policy options and guide stakeholder and community engagement strategies.  The group will also serve as liaisons between the project and the stakeholder’s representative constituents.