New World of Speed museum to welcome Sgt. Damon Coates as first member

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Photos of Sgt. Coates at World of Speed: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ]

Damon Coates at World of SpeedToday (Tuesday, April 21, 2015), World of Speed -- a new non-profit motorsports museum opening in Wilsonville -- will honor Sgt. Damon Coates as its first member.

Sgt. Coates will be at the museum to receive this honor on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 4 p.m. Media outlets are invited to attend.

This event is happening in advance of World of Speed's official opening on Friday, April 24, 2015.

World of Speed selected Sgt. Coates because he is an inspirational first responder who was injured in the line of duty and a true lover of cars.

Damon's 1972 Chevy Nova will be parked at the museum. Damon started restoring this car prior to his injury. The car was finished by members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Clackamas County Car Shops, and local vendors who all came together to volunteer their time on the project.

Sgt. Coates was wounded in the line of duty on January 9, 2003. Damon is an extraordinary individual, supported by his equally extraordinary wife Tammy. The 12 years since the shooting have at times been a fight for survival, but Damon has made incredible, odds-defying progress in therapy since the shooting.

In 2014, Sheriff Roberts wrote in a staff email:

"I'll never forget the entire department turning and giving Damon a standing ovation during our 2013 swearing-in ceremony, and I was deeply moved last September when the entire Coates family met with -- and forgave -- the shooter. [You can read about this extraordinary event here.] It's a testament to Damon's incredible strength and depth of character. When we dedicated a 'memorial bench' to Damon in May 2007, he was on-hand -- his first visit to the Sheriff's Office in the four years since he was wounded -- and he spoke to the media. His words still resonate. 'It's a dangerous job,' he said of his service with the Sheriff's Office, 'but at the same time, there's a lot of honor.' He also reflected on how far he'd come since 2003: 'I've met some pretty incredible goals thus far.... It's a miracle I'm even here today, just sitting in the sunshine.... I'm trying to remember thos e good times and letting the bad times go. That's success. I have enough faith in God that I know he's carried me this far for a reason. He's going to carry me further.' This is a clear reminder of how dangerous our job can be. Be safe out there."


World of Speed is a Wilsonville, Ore.-based non-profit motorsports museum opening on April 24, 2015. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, World of Speed will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the auto-racing world. The museum will showcase up to 100 vehicles, a workshop and a space for educational activities, which will highlight the professional opportunities available in the auto industry. World of Speed's collection is comprised of race and performance cars from various venues, including NASCAR, land speed racing, drag racing, open wheel, sports cars and motorcycles. Several historic racecars are in the collection, including Mickey Thompson's famous record-breaking Assault, Herm Petersen's Northwest Terror and the Gaines Markley/Rob Bruins National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel Championship Car from 1979.


News-release archive

Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office