Tillamook State Forest – A driver who fled on foot from a crash near mile post 35 on the Wilson River Highway Thursday night is still at large, according to Washington County Sheriff’s Office detective Robert Rookhuyzen.
Just after 9:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and Banks Fire District 13 were dispatched to reports of a rollover crash on Highway 6 near mile post 35, west of the Gales Creek Campground. Banks Fire District arrived first, according to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue public information officer David Nemeyer, along with an ambulance from Metro West.
Fire & Rescue agencies quickly realized there were no patients to treat -other than the driver, there were no others involved in the single-vehicle crash- and cancelled Forest Grove Fire & Rescue from the scene.
According to Rookhuyzen, it appears a good Samaritan helped cut the driver free of his seat belt. The driver then took off running down an embankment, vanishing into the forest.
Open alcohol containers were found in the crashed vehicle, an Acura Integra; this and other indicators led the Sheriff’s Office to suspect the driver may have been drinking prior to the crash.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office K-9 units were called in, and tracked through steep terrain and a creek, searching for the suspect.
“Ultimately, they tracked for a mile and called it off,” said Rookhuyzen.
The crashed vehicle was registered to a woman in Tillamook County. According to the Sheriff’s Office, she says her boyfriend was driving the vehicle; it’s not yet known if the boyfriend was the driver involved in the crash, or if the vehicle had been stolen as previously reported.
The investigation is still open and further details were not available at this time.
This is a developing story; more information will be published as it becomes known. Were you in the area around the time of the crash, and have information you’d like to share that may be relevant to this story? Email email@example.com or call 503-395-8131.