ASHLAND, Ore. — Hundreds of Karen Greenstein’s family members and friends gathered for a celebration of life on Saturday. Greenstein died after a wrong-way driver crashed into her vehicle on Interstate 5 on Thursday, March 27.
She left behind her husband, daughter, beloved dog and an entire community of co-workers. Greenstein was a long-time 911 dispatcher, working for Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon.
Nearly 400 people crowded into the Ashland High School gymnasium at 11 a.m. on Saturday to remember Greenstein. Emergency dispatchers who worked with Greenstein said their new motto is to be just like Karen. Not only was she a loving family person, but people close to her say she was an avid fitness enthusiast, devoted volunteer in the community and passionate about her love for reading.
Emergency personnel said Greenstein was sharp and quick, but she also had a calm temperament and that made her the perfect dispatcher.
“There are tragedies that occur on a daily basis, but what really brings it home is when it’s somebody that you know or somebody that you consider family … it has a little bit more of an impact,” said Sgt. Bob Smith with the Ashland Police Department.
A crisis management team is in place for first responders to help those close to Greenstein cope with the loss. The wrong-way driver of the fatal crash is not facing charges yet. Representatives at the District Attorney office said no charges will be considered until Oregon State Police finish the investigation.