A spate of recent fatal incidents in and around Nehalem have acted as a reminder to everyone that accidents can and do happen even in our small rural communities in north Tillamook County.
By Brian Cameron
On Jan. 30, at approximately 2:15 p.m. Patricia Abbot, of Nehalem, was reported as experiencing a medical condition, which resulted in her boyfriend who was there at the time, requiring to perform CPR. The incident occurred within the area of Nehalem Bay State Park where the couple was using one of the many walking trails available to park users. Prior to needing CPR Abbot contacted a friend for assistance, when he arrived he decided to call medics to the scene however it proved to be too late and Ms. Abbot was pronounced deceased at the scene of the incident.
The two men who were aiding her, Shawn Smock of Lincoln City and Steve Moore of Nehalem left the scene shortly after first responders arrived but were later found at Moore’s residence. Schmock was taken into custody due to a parole violation warrant and was lodged at Tillamook County Jail, though both the men cooperated with the investigation.
Just days later on Feb. 4 tragedy again struck north Tillamook County with the accidental death of Tami Yvonne McVay. Born in April of 1982 Tami grew up in Tillamook and received her Culinary Arts degree from college. A former employee of Tillamook’s Pacific Restaurant she was described as being full of life and always smiling.
According to representatives from the Tillamook County Sheriff’s office McVay was reported as suffering severe head trauma after being struck by a tree while on a make-shift zipline in a remote section of the Nehalem River near Salmonberry bridge. The incident happened in the early morning hours and took first responders longer than anticipated to reach the scene due to its extreme remote nature. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, Joshua Jackson, whom had originally made the call to 911 and he was apparently on the zipline with her when the tree it was secured to uprooted which resulted in the tragic accident.
Jackson was arrested on a Clatsop County warrant for Absconding and was transported to the Tillamook County Jail, though still under investigation it appears the arrest of Jackson was not related to the incident involving Tami McVay.
The recent deaths are a stark reminder that the unexpected can occur anytime and to always remain vigilant of personal health and situational awareness.