Accidents and CrashesBend crowds line streets for procession honoring DCSO Lt. Ernie Brown, killed...

Bend crowds line streets for procession honoring DCSO Lt. Ernie Brown, killed in Junction City motorcycle crash

Bend crowds line streets for procession honoring DCSO Lt. Ernie Brown, killed in Junction City motorcycle crash

(Update: adding video, comments from bystanders)

Longtime DCSO employee was with agency for 24 years

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — A solemn procession wound through the streets of Bend on Wednesday as first responders and citizens honored the return of Lt. Ernie Brown, a 24-year veteran of the agency, who died Sunday after an off-duty motorcycle crash at a motocross track in Junction City.

Members of the public were invited by the sheriff’s office to view the procession and show their support for Lt. Brown’s family.

NewsChannel 21 spoke with some bystanders about why they were there.

Jill Kaufmann and Rebecca Battleson are crisis supervisors for Deschutes County Behavioral Health. They went to the procession and shared why they thought it was important.

“Our office is next door to the sheriff’s office, and we often work alongside the deputies and folks over there at the jail and sheriff’s office,” Kaufmann said. “And just kind of think of them as coworkers and colleagues, and just wanted to be there and support them as they’re dealing with this significant and tragic loss.”

Battleson shared the same sentiment.

“It’s important to me as a member of our community to come together in times of loss — especially tragic and unexpected loss — to show support,” Battleson said.

Brown was riding a vintage motorcycle during off-road races at the Eugene MX Park (Territorial Motocross Park) in Junction City when he crashed Sunday afternoon, Lane County sheriff’s Sergeant Thomas Speldrich said.

Brown, who was 53, was transported to a hospital after the crash, but passed away from the injuries he received, according to the announcement by Deschutes County sheriff’s Sgt. Jayson Janes.

Brown began his career with the Sheriff’s Office 24 years ago as a technician in the Corrections Division. He became a corrections deputy in 2001.

“During his time with the Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Brown proved himself to be a leader,” Janes said. “Ernie earned the rank of Sergeant in 2011. He later became the Sheriff’s Office training Sergeant before being promoted to Lieutenant in 2019. Lt. Brown was also a founding member of the DCSO SWAT Team and the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.”

Lt. Brown was a veteran, having proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.

Lt. Brown is survived by his wife and three adult children.  His family is requesting their privacy during this tragic time, Janes said.

Sheriff Shane Nelson said, “Ernie was a humble and kind man, a selfless public servant, and dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He touched many lives and was always willing to lend a helping hand to everyone. Our office has lost a great teammate and friend, and our community has lost a dedicated public servant.”

The announcement concluded with a statement from the Brown/Piatt family: “Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and honor for our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.  Thank you for helping us through this most difficult time.”

The post Bend crowds line streets for procession honoring DCSO Lt. Ernie Brown, killed in Junction City motorcycle crash appeared first on KTVZ.

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