Eagle Point family mourns the loss of their father and softball coach

EAGLE POINT, Ore. – An Oregon Department of Transportation worker has died from his injuries after a fall at a facility on Thursday, December 30th, according to a statement from ODOT. Now his family is grieving.

From being a single dad to coaching the Eagle Point High school softball team, Wes Hamner (58) was a staple in the Eagle Point community.

“I knew my dad played a big role in the community. I didn’t realize how big of a role and everybody that he knew,” said Amanda King.

ODOT said Hamner was critically injured in a fall from a front-end loader that had just been secured to a trailer. Workers at the facility, located near I-5 exit 6, tended to him until medical crews arrived.

The whole family is broken up. There are so many people in the hospital room like we didn’t have any room for anybody else. That tells you how much my dad was loved,” said Madison Hamner.

Hamner passed away last Sunday at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

It’s not just family processing Hamner’s passing, one of his teachers back in high school was heartbroken to hear the news.

“You could have your worst day and be around Wes, you felt honored and privileged when you walked away, because he made you feel like you’re the only one,” said Jody Streetman.

“Wes worked as a valued seasonal member for us on the Ashland crew for the past 12 years,” Gary Leaming, public information officer with ODOT, said in a statement. “Please keep his family and the Ashland crew in your thoughts and prayers as we all work through this loss.”

OSHA and ODOT are currently investigating it as a workplace accident. Crews have been kept busy on I-5 following a few winter storms that blanketed much of southern Oregon and northern California over the past few weeks.

While the in-person and virtual support won’t bring Hamner back, it shows the legacy he left behind and how he’ll be greatly missed.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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