Firefighter in ICU after hit-and-run incident

Police said John Houdeshell, 71, is in the ICU after being hit by a car while on his way to his hotel after working on the Terwilliger fire

By FireRescue1 Staff

LANE COUNTY, Ore. — Police are asking the public for help in finding the person responsible for a hit-and-run that resulted in the hospitalization of a wildland firefighter.

KVAL reported that John Houdeshell, 71, was walking to his hotel Sept. 3 after working on the Terwilliger fire when he was hit by a vehicle, which then fled.

Houdeshell was transported to the hospital and is now in the ICU. He is expected to remain hospitalized for the next two months.

There were no witnesses in the incident, but police said a side-view mirror was left on the scene that appears to belong to a 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna Minivan, with a possible grayish color.

"Somebody knows what happened, somebody knows somebody who's got a damaged Toyota Sienna minivan with a missing mirror all the sudden," Oregon State Police Sgt. Elijah Chambers said. "Or missing headlight and they know something isn't right, we're urging those people to come forward to help us figure out who the driver was."

Police currently have no leads in the case, but they have been in contact with surrounding auto-body shops.


#Terwilliger Fire Northwest Incident Management Team 8 Incident Commander, Doug Johnson, visits John Houdeshell, who is convalescing in a local hospital. John, a water tender driver on the Terwilliger Fire, was involved in a hit and run accident while crossing Hwy 126 earlier this month. John has suffered through multiple surgeries but is in good spirits and looks forward to getting back to work. All the firefighters and Team wish him a speedy recovery. There is a “Go Fund Me” site in honor of John.

Posted by Willamette Wildfires on Tuesday, September 18, 2018


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