Hit And Run Firefighter Victim Receives Aid From Community He Came To Help

Sep 18, 2018

The firefighter who was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision earlier this month remains in hospital and medical costs are mounting. A grassroots effort is underway to help a stranger who came to fight the Terwilliger Fire.

Christine Core didn’t know John Houdeshell. But she does know the McKenzie River community. When she heard that the 71-year old California man was hit and left in a ditch, she reached out to his family and then started a fundraiser.

John Houdeshell, 71, was driving a water tender helping fight the Terwilliger Fire. He was struck by a hit-and-run driver on September 3 on Hwy 126 after leaving fire camp.
Credit Facebook John Houdeshell

“We as a community are really very aware and appreciative of the efforts of the firefighters that have been in our community for now the second year in a row,” Core says. “And when the community found out about John and his accident, I think the community just cared enough to want to step to the plate.”

Core says they set a goal of $5,000 in a GoFund Me campaign and surpassed it in less than two weeks. And that doesn’t surprise her. Core, who is a Lutheran pastor, is saddened that no one has taken responsibility for the hit-and-run. But she says she is proud of the local turn out of support for a man who originally came to help them.

Police continue to investigate the hit and run incident and remain on the lookout for the light colored Toyota Sienna van missing a right side window. Anyone with information about the minivan or the hit-and-run collision is asked to call state police at 503-375-3555 or *OSP from a mobile phone.