Residents Remain Vigilant as Police Search for Hit & Run Driver

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, November 1 2013 at 6:19 PM, Updated: Fri, November 1 2013 at 6:46 PM

The tight knit cave junction community is still reeling. It's been days since someone hit and killed two men in Cave Junction, then drove off. Residents in the small town still don't have answers. Early Wednesday morning a tan pick up truck crashed into them on Highway 199 early Wednesday morning. One of the men killed was 21-year-old Jarred Houston.

"He was adventurous, fun loving, everybody loving [...] for him to be taken from us in this manner is just wrong," said Houston's family friend, Stacie Skinner.

But even while police say they're no closer to finding the driver than a couple days ago, residents in the area are not giving up. Instead, they're keeping an eye out for the suspect's truck. According to a Facebook post, someone in the Illinois Valley may have spotted it.

Just the other night a woman claims via Facebook that she was walking with her daughter when they saw a truck fitting the description released by authorities...with front end damage.

"A tan truck with a tan [canopy] and a small red stripe down the side of it and front end damage came speeding towards my daughter and I. As soon as it reached us they slammed on their [brakes] and pretended to shoot us. They then pulled over behind us as I ran through the bushes with my kid. When I looked back they were headed down the road towards the trailer park behind shop smart," said Felicia Davis in a comment on Facebook.

Oregon State Police say they're looking into this story and all possible leads.

They're sorting through tips to figure out which ones are valid. There has been no word yet on the resident's potential truck spotting.                

Meantime, Houston's family friend says she has one message for the driver still out there.

"Please, whoever you are, if you're involved, please come forward."

If you spot the truck, described as a single cab tan pickup with matching canopy and  front end damage, call police immediately.

The Houston family has a donation account set up under the name "Jarred Houston" at the Washington Federal bank in Cave Junction. The money will go toward funeral arrangements.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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