Oregon State Police (OSP) Trooper John Jeffries remained in critical condition as of late Monday, Nov. 15, following a pursuit and crash along Highway 30 four miles north of St. Helens.
According to Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) investigators, late Thursday afternoon Nov. 11, OSP troopers, CCSO deputies, and Rainier Police had been engaged in a short pursuit with a suspect fleeing from a criminal incident in Longview, Washington. That pursuit was later terminated.
Shortly after the pursuit was terminated, OSP Trooper John Jeffries was struck on Highway 30 milepost 31 west of St. Helens. The suspect vehicle rammed an OSP patrol car, which then struck Trooper Jeffries. Investigators said no shots were fired during the pursuit or the crash.
The trooper suffered critical injuries and was taken by ground ambulance to Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The extent and severity of Jeffries’ injuries were being determined at the time of his hospitalization, according to the OSP.
“Jeffries’ medical team will continue to monitor, evaluate and treat his visible injuries and the internal trauma caused as a result of the incident,” the OSP release states.
The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the hospital, where he was treated for injuries he sustained as a result of the crash. As of late Nov. 15, CCSO reported the suspect was still hospitalized. Specific charges against the suspect and his identity were pending at press time.
Details about the criminal incident that led to the pursuit also have not been released by authorities.
Jeffries started with the Oregon State Police in March of 2021, after retiring from the FBI after 20 years of service. Jeffries is currently stationed at the OSP St. Helens worksite.
Jeffries and his wife have spent the last 25 years in Portland, where they raised their two sons, according to the OSP.
Jeffries has spent his life in service to the public,” the OSP release reads. “The Oregon State Police asks that you respect the family’s privacy at this time. We also ask for your prayers for Trooper Jeffries, his family, his friends as well as the entire OSP family.”
OSP Superintendent Terri Davi said all troopers recognize the risk they face each time they don their uniforms and report for duty.
“But accepting that risk does not make the fight Trooper Jeffries is currently battling any easier,” Davi said. “As minutes, hours and days go by, our prayers and support are with Trooper Jeffries and his family.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said that 25 years ago, Jeffries took an oath of office as FBI Special Agent Jeffries. The following is the FBI release.
“As a young man, he joined the FBI with a mission to serve his country. As a case agent, pilot, firearms instructor, and SWAT team member, John served with honor. He was an agent’s agent – first in the door and always doing the right thing in the right way. He was a respected leader, and his retirement in 2016 was a loss for the FBI.
“John’s call to service didn’t end there, though. This year, John was driven by a sense of duty and purpose to join OSP as a new trooper, completing Oregon’s law enforcement academy alongside men and women who were as much as 30 years his junior.
“There are only two things John loves more than his law enforcement service – his family and his faith. Today and every day, OSP and the FBI will care for John and his family as he has cared for us. We are extremely grateful to the OSP, their leadership, and the OSP family, as they circle around Trooper Jeffries. The FBI joins OSP in asking the public for their love and support for John and his family as he recovers from these serious injuries. Please also give this family the privacy and space it needs to nurture his recovery.”
The investigation is ongoing and being handled by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office, the Washington County Major Crimes Team, and the Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team.
Follow developments of this story at thechronicleonline.com and in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle.