Family pleads for answers after hit-and-run victim left for dead in Gresham

John McDonald
John McDonald(KPTV)
Updated: Feb. 19, 2020 at 10:44 PM PST
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GRESHAM, Ore. (KPTV) – A 31-year-old man experiencing homelessness was left for dead on the side of the road after he was hit by a driver who took off, according to the man’s family.

Gresham police confirmed to FOX 12 that officers are investigating a hit-and-run after a Good Samaritan called for help upon discovering a man badly hurt on the side of Southeast Stark Street and 215th Avenue around 7 p.m. Saturday.

The man was identified by family on Wednesday as John McDonald.

Police said the victim’s injuries are consistent with being struck by a car, but officers were unable to find the driver or any signs of a crash in the area.

McDonald’s cousin, Ashley Woods, shared a photo of McDonald in the hospital at OHSU. McDonald is unconscious and on a ventilator, Woods said.

The family worries McDonald won’t survive or will end up with severe brain damage.

Woods said McDonald was found barely breathing.

“He was face down on the ground in the street and it looks like he got hit by a car,” Woods said. “A lot of the surgeries he can’t get right now because his brain won’t take it — his brain is really swollen.”

“He has multiple fractures,” Woods added. “His leg is broken on the left side. His arm is broken on the right.”

McDonald’s family said McDonald struggled with homelessness and drug issues, but they deeply love him and occasionally saw him.

“He’s the life of the party, but he’s also really caring,” Woods said.

Being reunited this way has been devastating.

“Right now, we’re just praying that his brain heals,” Woods said. “Our homeless people are still people – they’re still our families, they’re still our friends. They’re not roadkill.”

As they pray for McDonald’s recovery, the family is also hoping for justice and asking the suspect and witnesses to come forward.

“If you do remember something, it’s eating at your heart – say something,” Wood said.

The family is grateful to the Good Samaritan who found McDonald.

McDonald’s mother called the person “his angel” that saved McDonald from death.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Gresham police.