Molalla Pastor Killed in Meridian Road Crash near Mount Angel

A Molalla man was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Meridian Road Northeast near Mount Angel Scotts Mills Road in northern Marion County Thursday.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says it received the emergency call at approximately 5:22 p.m.

Deputies say the crash involved 79-year-old Jack Mathews, of Molalla. The sheriff’s office said Mathews had been reported missing to the Molalla Police Department earlier that day.

According to an initial investigation, Mathews was driving a 2020 Kia Sorento north on Meridian Road when he left the roadway for unknown reasons and struck a tree.

Emergency medical responders pronounced Mathews dead before deputies arrived on scene.

Mathews was still serving as pastor at a small church, New Horizons Fellowship in Molalla, which has been meeting virtually since the pandemic began.

“Pastor Jack wasn’t just our pastor; he was our papa,” said Jody Newland, who has attended New Horizons since moving to Molalla in 2010. “He loved us like we were each his own kids.”

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by METCOM 911, Molalla Police Department, Mount Angel Fire Department, Mount Angel Police Department and Willamette Valley Communications Center.

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