February 17, 2020 at about 1:10pm, Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Members, Logan Couch and Corina Lea while driving along U.S. Highway 101 near milepost 323, about four miles north of Gold Beach, spotted some tire tracks in the dirt on the east side of the highway.
Couch and Lea stopped to investigate and after looking over the embankment down into the trees noticed a red Ford pick-up with California Plates. The truck registered to seventy year old Jerry VanHoosen of Kerman California. VanHoosen was found deceased in the wreckage. Sheriff’s Deputies and the Oregon State Police responded and determined that VanHoosen more than likely died at the time of the crash from the sudden impact on February 8, 2020.
The VanHoosen family had reported VanHoosen missing to the Brookings Police Department on Tuesday February 11, 2020. The family reported that Jerry VanHoosen had planned to travel to the Chetco River and fish, then onto Reedsport to meet up with a friend. The family said they had not heard from VanHoosen since the 8th. The Brookings Police Department checked and found that Jerry VanHoosen had checked out of the Westward Motel in Brookings on Saturday the 8th. The Brookings Police listed VanHoosen as missing and had his phone pinged which showed his last location on the 8th before the phone was shut off somewhere in the Chetco River area.
The Curry County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team were called out to search the areas of cell pings and covered many miles for three days by vehicle and foot looking for possible locations where VanHoosen could be. Cal Ore Reach Life Flight assisted with the use of their helicopter as well.
We are all saddened on the outcome of this search and our condolences go out to the VanHoosen family. The next of Kin have been notified.