Over 100 motorcycles, loaded with riders and drivers, including a bus for those who don’t have a motorcycle, pulled up along the south side of Newport City Hall on Sunday, to make a rest stop on what is now an annual Chris Kilcullen Memorial Ride. Eugene Police Office Chris Kilcullen was mortally wounded by a woman (later deemed to be mentally deranged) who shot him with a handgun after he had pulled her over for erratic driving. Although Officer Kilcullen was wearing a police vest, the bullet got through a small opening and he died from the wound. He left a wife and three children.
Friends and admirers of Kilcullen launched a memorial trust fund in his honor, dedicated to values Kilcullen touted throughout his life; education, family and serving the community. This is the second memorial ride in memory of Officer Kilcullen which runs 248 miles (Kilcullen’s former police badge number, #248) that begins by riding north from Eugene on Highway 99, then west on Highway 20 to Newport, then south to Florence, then back east on Highway 126 to Eugene. Donations, sponsorships, raffels and other support creates funds for college scholarships for high school seniors who otherwise cannot afford college. Funds are also applied to community projects and special outreach for families having difficulties.
On Sunday, Newport Police arranged for all riders to enjoy a convenient rest stop using facilities at Newport City Hall. Also in the memorial ride is a restored police cruising Harley Davidson motorcycle designated the Chris Kilcullen Memorial Motorcycle. It bears Officer Kilcullen’s name, badge, stylized image of him and a memorial statement honoring his life.
Memorial riders filtered in from Highway 101, took a quick break, and then continued south on 101 through Newport, bound for Florence where they will participate in a large memorial dinner in honor of Officer Kilcullen, the dinner sponsored by the Three Rivers Hotel/Casino.