The Daily Astorian
The newspaper delivery driver who was killed Thursday morning after being pinned underneath her car was remembered as a loving mother and partner who was active in the community.
Debra Kay Burnett, 50, of Astoria, was a delivery driver for The Oregonian and was on her route before the accident near 12th Street and Kensington Avenue. She had worked for the newspaper for several years and had recently been managing — alongside her son — the newspaper’s delivery operations in Astoria, said Samuel Burnett, her other son.
“We are saddened to hear the news that an independent dealer of The Oregonian was killed this morning in a tragic accident related to the winter weather conditions,” John Maher, president of the Oregonian Media Group, said in a statement posted by The Oregonian Thursday.
Burnett also worked as a mailroom supervisor at The Daily Astorian for several years.
“The tragic loss of Debra was shocking to all of us at The Daily Astorian,” said John D. Bruijn, the newspaper’s production director. “Debra started as an inserter in the mailroom in 1996 and moved up to supervisor in 2002 until 2008 when she left for other opportunities.
“Even after she left the newspaper she stayed in close contact with many former co-workers. She will be greatly missed.”
The youngest sibling in the family, Burnett had lived in the region since birth and Astoria for nearly 30 years. Burnett, among other things, was active in Astoria Pride with her partner, volunteered at the Miss Oregon pageant and loved being outdoors.
Her family and friends described her as someone who “laughed easily, made friends seemingly effortlessly, loved movies, music, books and theater, cats and dogs, car racing, sports, good food, strong drinks and spending time with the many people she loved, her family and friends.”
“She was just out there and part of the community,” Samuel Burnett said. “She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind on matters with people. She was a very caring, very loving mother who would do anything for her family.”
Bonnie Ragan, who now lives in Arizona, remembers her youngest sibling for being caring.
“My sister is worth a million dollars. She lived life to the fullest,” Ragan said. “She cared about everybody else before herself. She will be greatly missed.”