Crash kills former EP wrestling champ
A former Eagle Point High School wrestling champion was killed Tuesday morning in a motorcycle crash near the Jackson County Sports Park.
Hunter Hoeptner, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene after his red 2001 Honda sport bike struck the side of a 2004 Ford pickup crossing Highway 140 along Kershaw Road at about 10 a.m., according to an Oregon State Police news release.
Allan Campbell, 80, of Medford, had been driving northbound on Kershaw Road and was crossing the intersection when Hoeptner, while heading eastbound on 140, collided with the side of the truck, according to police. The motorcycle's speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.
Campbell wasn't injured in the crash, and is cooperating with investigators, police said.
Hoeptner won the Class 5A 160-pound state wrestling championship in March 2014. His former coach, Kacey McNulty, called Hoeptner's sudden demise a tremendous loss for the local wrestling community.
"He was a great wrestler, a great competitor," McNulty said. "He was a good young man."
McNulty described Hoeptner, a former class president, as a "great leader" who was sensitive and good to people. Over the past season, Hoeptner had been volunteering with Eagle Point High School's wrestling program, assisting with tournaments among other off-season events.
"He was just a very generous young man who'd give his time to help people out," McNulty said.
Hayden Moreau posted a video of an acoustic guitar composition he wrote in his departed friend's memory Tuesday. Moreau described him as an "amazing guy" who "always brought joy into any room," and "always put a smile on your face any time you saw him."
A February 2014 profile in the Mail Tribune showed that Hoeptner had logged more than 100 hours of community service during his high school career. Some of the ways he gave back included assisting at the guest services desk at Ashland Community Hospital, socializing with residents at Emeritus at Eagle Cove Assisted Living and helping them with electronics issues, volunteering as a lunch buddy for Eagle Rock Elementary students and volunteering with Eagle Point School District in repairing electronics.
McNulty also recalled his technical expertise, remembering how Hoeptner repaired his wife's iPhone.
"He was very gifted technically," McNulty said.
Among the things that McNulty remembers most about Hoeptner was his compassion. McNulty lost his mother at the time Hoeptner was competing in the state championships.
"A lot of high school kids would just ignore that, but he was compassionate," McNulty said.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.