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Firefighter Dies From Injuries After Unsolved Hit And Run On McKenzie Hwy.

Facebook John Houdeshell

A firefighter who was the victim of a 2018 hit and run has died from his injuries. Oregon State police continue to search for the driver. 

John Houdeshell was a water-tender on the Terwilliger fire. As he crossed Highway 126, he was struck by a minivan and landed in a ditch. The driver did not stop.

Over nine months, Houdeshell endured numerous surgeries. When he finally returned home to California, his son Ryan says his dad tried hard but his injuries were just too much. John Houdeshell died on December 21st (just before his 74th birthday on Christmas day.)

Oregon State Police Sergeant Elijah Chambers remains on the case. 

“Troopers were able to determine that the recovered passenger side, side mirror came from a Toyota Sienna minivan, a CE or LE style, model years 2004 to 2010,” he said.


Credit Facebook John Houdeshell
John Houdeshell recently died from injuries sustained from a Sept. 3, 2018 hit and run on the McKenzie Highway 126. He died on Dec. 21, 2020, four days before his 74th birthday.

Chambers asks that anyone with information on the vehicle or driver contact state police by dialing *OSP or call 541-726-2525.  Reference is SP18-331738

A statement from Ryan Houdeshell

My father John Houdeshell, after a very courageous fight to try and regain some normalcy in his life after being hit and left for dead by the driver of a vehicle, passed away on December 21, 2020. 

My father had endured many more surgeries and procedures after finally returning to his home 9 months after the initial incident, and many more months in the hospital and rehab centers. 

Once home he started to regain some strength and started to live life the best he could.  He was very happy to be home, and was looking forward to the new lease on life the good lord had given him, but he kept having more medical issues, and finally 4 days before his 74th birthday, which was on Christmas day, my dad died unexpectedly.  To say that the accident cut his life short is saying it the way it truly is.

I hope that one day someone will turn in the driver of the vehicle that struck him while he was crossing the road at the Terwilliger fire.  The person driving the car that night that struck him knows what they did, and now because of the accident my father has passed away leaving a void in my family.  I talked with my father daily, and he would never complain about how bad he hurt, but you could see it.  He loved life and doing the things he did to help his community and the public.  My father John Houdeshell was a proud man, and tried to do what he thought was important to help others.

Thank you. 

Ryan P. Houdeshell

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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