28, 1959 - May 4, 2021
Retired Sergeant John Burright passed away May 4, 2021, after a battle that started on September 4, 2001. That was the night his life and the lives of those closest to him were forever changed.
On September 4, 2001, Sergeant Burright and Albany Police Officer, Jason Hoerauf stopped to assist a disabled motorist on the shoulder of Interstate 5 near mile point 243. Earlier in the day, Officer Hoerauf was doing a ride-along with his friend and mentor, Sergeant Burright. Senior Trooper Maria Mignano, also on patrol in the area stopped to assist with the motorist. When the three were outside of their patrol cars, a driver that had been traveling northbound fell asleep. The driver veered off the interstate and struck all three officers. Senior Trooper Mignano and Officer Hoerauf were killed instantly, Sergeant Burright survived but was critically injured. Sergeant Burright was 41 at the time of the collision and sustained critical injuries that forced early retirement in 2002.
During his career with the Oregon State Police, Sergeant Burright served in the Patrol Division, Criminal Division and was one of the original members of the Mobile Response Team.
John Burright started his career with the Oregon State Police as a Recruit in March of 1987. During his career, John worked in the Patrol Division supporting the community's in Roseburg, Albany, and finally in Salem at the rank of Sergeant. John leaves behind his wife, Rhonda, and their three sons.
On April 21, 2016, a ceremony was held outside of the new Oregon State Police Headquarters dedicating the naming of a Salem City Street in the name of Burright.
Although John has been retired since 2002, he and his family have always been in our hearts and minds. John's early death is a result of the traumatic injuries he received on the night of the collision and his death is designated as a line of duty death. This important designation will ensure that John's family will receive all line of duty honors and death benefits afforded under state statute and Department of Oregon State Police provision, including an appropriate placement on our agency Fallen Trooper Memorial and the State of Oregon Memorial Wall.
“At work, Sergeant Burright was a courageous and dedicated professional that shared his sense of humor with those he came into contact with, but away from work, he was a devoted and loving husband and a father to three sons." expressed Superintendent Terri Davie. Davie also added, " The death of John is a vivid reminder of the dangers our Troopers face each day. It does not matter the type of call our Troopers respond to, risk is present the moment they put on their uniform and badge. John is our 34th Oregon State Trooper that has died in the line of duty and we honor his and his family's sacrifice. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and all who knew John."