'The people who worked with him here are going to miss him'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Sheriff's deputies respond to traffic accidents almost daily.

A crash in Riddle on Monday was a little different for deputies. It has left them mourning the loss of one of their own.

Robert Stratton, 72, of Riddle, was a retired captain from the Douglas County Sheriff's office.

Just after 10:30 am, the call came in. Three cars were involved. One of them struck Stratton's pickup, sending him into the path of an on coming log truck. "And of course, that caused massive damage to Stratton's pickup and the log truck, and unfortunately, Bob Stratton was pronounced dead at the scene," said Douglas County Sheriff's office spokesman, Deputy Dwes Hutson.

Captain Stratton worked for the Douglas County Sheriff's department for 29 years before retiring in 2001.

Hutson says he was someone who stood out around the office. "He was a good mentor and friend to a lot of us here at the Sheriff's office," said Hutson. "I will remember him as a person who was always upbeat and positive, and happy."

Hutson says the loss of one of the department's well known members has had a big impact on the current staff. "You know, he was a good leader, and I know that the people who worked with him here are going to miss him," Hutson said.

Deputies say this is an open investigation, and are working to determine the exact cause of the crash.

"Captain Robert Stratton was a dedicated law enforcement professional who served Douglas County with dedication and pride," said Sheriff John Hanlin in a statement Monday. "Captain Stratton was a mentor and friend to many of us who still work here at the Sheriff's Office and he will be greatly missed."