On July 8, Mayor Dean Sawyer of Newport was piloting a small plane to go whale watching with 61-year-old Deborah Reasoner and her 7-year-old grandson, when Sawyer was forced to make an emergency landing on the beach due to mechanical failure. Reasoner was injured and remains hospitalized, while her grandson and Sawyer himself sustained only minor injuries.
Mayor Sawyer wrote on July 9 that Reasoner has multiple broken bones. While initially taken to a local hospital in Newport, she was later flown to a facility in Portland for treatment. Sawyer also confirmed that he has “torn cartilage” in his chest.
The grandson’s injuries, while described as “minor,” were not specified. He and Mayor Sawyer were both treated and released from Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital the day of the crash.
Mayor Sawyer, who rose to the office from the city council in 2018, has held a pilot’s license for 40 years, and has owned and piloted that particular Cessna for over 30 years.
By Ian MacRonald