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MailTribune.com
  • Who do those crosses along state highways memorialize?

  • They are silent reminders of the dangers on state highways, marking the spot where bad weather, poor judgment or a series of unlucky events took someone's life.
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    • The Oregon Department of Transportation offers ...
      Signs cost $600 and must be purchased by a victim's family or someone with permission from the family. A memorial plaque is attached to the sign citing the victim's name.
      ODOT's traffic manageme...
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      The Oregon Department of Transportation offers families who've lost a loved one because of an intoxicated driver to erect a sign in the victim's name that reminds others "Don't Drink and Drive."
      Signs cost $600 and must be purchased by a victim's family or someone with permission from the family. A memorial plaque is attached to the sign citing the victim's name.

      ODOT's traffic management office in Salem gives final approval for the signs. Local ODOT officials are then responsible for finding a safe location as close to the crash site as possible for installation.

      The program was initiated in 1995. The first sign was installed in October that year, in Tillamook County. Some three dozen signs have been installed since then.

      For more information, contact sign program coordinator Janet Lundeen at 503-986-6644, or visit online, http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/TRAFFIC-ROADWAY/memorial_signing_program.shtml.
  • They are silent reminders of the dangers on state highways, marking the spot where bad weather, poor judgment or a series of unlucky events took someone's life.
    While roadside memorials help relatives remember their loved ones, they sometimes prove too painful for others and are a sensitive issue for Oregon Department of Transportation crews, who maintain state highways.
    One of the area's largest memorials is a wooden cross erected along a hillside above the northbound lanes of Interstate 5 between Talent and Ashland. It marks the spot where 22-year-old Eagle Point resident Gregory Allen Horn died in a motorcycle crash.
    At about 2:35 a.m. on Sept. 3, 2005, Horn was riding his Suzuki motorcycle northbound at a reported high rate of speed, police said. He was rounding a curve near Milepost 17 when he crashed into the back of a Ford Tempo. Horn was thrown from the motorcycle and pronounced dead at the scene.
    Former classmate Lucas Schauffler erected the cross with help from Horn's family within days of the wreck. Eighteen months later, a baseball cap still rests atop the large cross while a smaller wooden cross declares, "We miss you Horndog."
    "Greg's cross is on that hill right above where Greg was lying after the accident," said Kim Horn, Gregory's father.
    Gregory Horn was a semester away from graduating with a fire science degree. His memorial at the Eagle Point High School gymnasium drew some 1,500 visitors. The roadside memorial, Horn's father said, is a lasting tribute to his son and, he hopes, a reminder for passing motorists to drive safely.
    The family put careful thought into how far uphill to erect the memorial, to avoid roadway maintenance crews and to be sure not to create a safety hazard.
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