PENDLETON — Police say the man transported by a Life Flight helicopter to a Washington hospital from Interstate 84 in Pendleton on Thursday is still receiving medical care, despite media reports he died from injuries.
Oregon State Police Lt. Mike Turner said Ryan Newsome, 28, was still receiving care when he spoke to medical staff on Friday morning. Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, Washington, could not release any details or updates to Newsome’s condition when contacted Friday afternoon.
Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts said — and local media outlets initially reported — he was contacted through email by a relative of Newsome’s indicating he died from his injuries.
Troopers with OSP continue to investigate the Thursday incident and Turner said no information about the firearm used in the incident will be released since the investigation is still in its early stages.
“We will do a complete and thorough investigation to establish the facts of the case,” he said.
The incident originated Thursday morning, Roberts said, after police received reports of shots fired from the 300 block of Southeast Dorion Avenue. Later that morning, police retrieved a bullet from a bedroom window frame.
Police located and pursued Newsome’s vehicle later on Thursday until the chase was called off due to high speeds that were deemed too dangerous for public safety. Newsome’s vehicle was located again shortly before 4:30 p.m. According to Roberts, he was behind Newsome at Southeast Nye Avenue when the vehicle went the wrong way at Exit 210 and began traveling eastbound on I-84 from the westbound lanes. Police pursued the vehicle from the eastbound lanes until witnesses said the chase ended less than a mile east of the exit. Newsome’s vehicle eventually left the roadway and was boxed in by law enforcement. Officers reported hearing a single gunshot from the vehicle.
State authorities then shut down the interstate while police assessed Newsome’s condition. Police broke the vehicle’s window, found and secured a gun and began to administer first aid while awaiting arrival from Life Flight. Roberts said when police made contact with Newsome he was gasping for air and still had a pulse.
Newsome was convicted in 2011 of 11 felony sex crimes for having a sexual relationship with a then 13-year-old girl for three months in late 2009 and early 2010 while he was 19. He was recently released from prison after serving seven years for sexual abuse and rape.