TROUTDALE, Ore. -- A man driving his jeep crashed into a guardrail and landed 50 feet off the road in Troutdale Monday night before disappearing into nearby woods.
Police said they responded to the crash, spoke to Kyle Peterson, 29, of Gresham, and then he is believed to have mysteriously walked into the woods.
The crash happened a little before 8:30 p.m. Monday on Southeast Stark Street near 35th Street, not far from the Sandy River. As a responding Troutdale police officer spoke to Peterson, Peterson turned and walked away into a heavily wooded area southeast of the crash.
According to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, the police officer yelled after Peterson, telling him to stop, but Peterson didn't respond and disappeared into the woods.
He hasn't been seen since.
“Nothing to say he's been there, nothing to say he hasn't. It's like he literally vanished,” said Peterson’s sister, Ashley Chinn. “We're focusing on (the search), and I can't even let my mind go somewhere else.”
Family and friends don’t know what happened but can only guess Peterson may have received a head injury from the crash and became disoriented.
“It’s completely out of character and not like Kyle at all. Kyle is very level headed,” his mom, Lynn Bauer, said. “He possibly hit his head on the steering wheel or the windshield.”
Neighbors who know the wooded area well are concerned he could have fallen over the cliff that drops into the Sandy River.
“It’s high and it’s straight down,” a neighbor, Scott Fultz, said.
Kyle Peterson's family will keep searching and isn’t giving up hope.
“He's my only son, and he has a family that all love him very much,” Kyle’s mom told KATU through tears. “We just want him to come home and be safe.”
Search and rescue crews canvassed the area Tuesday and used a boat on the Sandy River Wednesday morning.
He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, dark brown Carhartt pants and a beanie. He's 6 feet 2 inches tall and has red hair and a red beard.