VENETA, Ore. — Local volunteer firefighters are dealing with the loss of one of their own Tuesday night. Ross Stang, 29, of Veneta, was killed Monday night in a motorcycle crash.
Stang was a volunteer firefighter with the Lane Fire Authority. His co-workers and close friends say his death is a terrible loss to the community and one that still hasn’t hit home just yet.
Staff at the Lane Fire Authority say it was a busy Tuesday night; they got two calls right around the same time and one they didn’t expect to hit so close to home.
“When our first responder got there he was actually coming from home because he lives really close as soon as he rolled him over, he realized it was one of our own,” said Lt. Tressa Miller, Lane Fire Authority.
Despite the lifesaving efforts of his co-workers and friends, Stang was pronounced dead at the scene. It didn’t take long for the news to reach his loved ones, who actually saw the motorcycle drive by, unaware it was someone they knew.
“The next thing we knew, a couple seconds later there were lights and sirens, a helicopter and then maybe two minutes later, we got the phone call that it was Ross,” said friend Becky Herburger.
It was a tough call to take.
“It still hasn’t processed, you know. There’s no, I don’t believe it. I left the ball field and I went to Ross’s house and I waited for him to come home. He never came home,” Herburger said.
Tuesday the flag outside the station flew at half-staff in honor of a generous man they won’t soon forget.
“He was the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back and he was just always there for the community,” Lt. Miller said.
“He was happy and always there to help,” Herburger said.
While the pain is still too fresh, those left behind remain grateful to have known him.
“There’s anger and frustration, but if Ross loved you, you knew it. And I’m just thankful he knew I loved him back,” Herburger said.
Stang leaves behind a young daughter. Memorial services are still being planned at this time.