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Family seeks $682,000 in wrongful death case against Multnomah County deputy
Multnomah County faces a $682,000 lawsuit from the family members of a man who died after being run over by an on-duty sheriff's deputy in April 2016.
Stephen Heberling, a disabled veteran, was struck by Deputy Kent Krumpschmidt just after 4 a.m. Friday, April 29, on a short stretch of Northeast Sandy Boulevard just east of 238th Drive in Wood Village.
Heberling was dragged more than 95 feet after the collision, according to the lawsuit, and died at Emmanuel Hospital around 7:45 a.m. He was placed in comfort care after emergency room personnel determined his injuries were not survivable.
Deputy Krumpschmidt's onboard computer showed his 2013 Chevy Caprice patrol car had accelerated to 33 mph before the moment of impact — though the posted speed limit on Sandy is 25 mph.
Heberling was wearing blue jean shorts, a tan coat and blue shoes on the day of his death, court records allege.
"It was not particularly bright clothing, but it's not like one of those dressed all in black sort of routines," Traffic Lt. Ryan Lee told reporters during a press conference at the time. "Not the most visible clothing, but nothing terribly odd given that we live in a cold weather environment."
Police also noted that Heberling was standing in the roadway, not a crosswalk, at the time of the collision. Investigators weren't sure why Heberling was traveling by foot that night.
East of 238th Drive, Sandy Boulevard dead-ends in front of Camping World of Portland and Gresham Transfer, a trailer and trucking company. Krumpschmidt traveled east down Sandy Boulevard, turned around at the cul-de-sac, and was heading west toward 238th when he struck Heberling.
Olympia-based attorney John Kesler wrote that Krumpschmidt's headlights were turned off, but the industrial area was well-lit and the deputy "was familiar with" the location.
"One of the reasons Deputy Krumpschmidt had patrolled the area (previously)… is that people wandered around at night in that area," the attorney wrote. "Deputy Krumpschmidt gave conflicting statements about the collision to assisting and investigating law enforcement officers."
This is not Krumpschmidt's first time in newsfeeds or headlines. In 2015, he was honored with a Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Lifesaving Award for rescuing a man drowning in 30 feet of water at Dabney State Park on the Sandy River.
Also in 2015, Krumpschmidt was credited with aiding a man suffering a heart attack at Multnomah Falls. He dashed up and down the trail four times to bring supplies to first responders, according to a county news release.
Heberling is survived by his son, Kevin Heberling, and his daughter, Jennifer Glass.
"Stephen Heberling's family and friends miss him greatly," the wrongful-death tort suit states, which was filed at Multnomah County Courthouse on Friday, March 17.