Josephine county, OR
Nearest town: Grants Pass
Nearest road: I-5
Location: South bound lane, I-5 approaching the Merlin exit North of Grants Pass
Description of event: At the time of this incident I was a contracted delivery driver for an auto parts distributor. I traveled this section of Interstate 5 Monday thru Friday towing a 16' enclosed trailor with my 3/4 ton Dodge 4wd truck.
As was typical for a weeknight at 1 o'clock in the morning there was nearly no other traffic on the road with me. With my cruise control set at 73 mph my headlights lit up something laying centered in the right hand lane directly in front of me. I knew there was going to be contact but rather than swerve and risk lossing control I chose to line up and attempt to strike the object with the undercarriage of my truck. I don't remember touching the brakes or making any attmept to slow down. In the seconds leading up to impact all I could do was brace myself and wonder what it was that I was about to splatter down the highway.
Driving as many miles as I did I had, or thought I had, seen every form of indiginous wildlife Oregon has to offer. Either alive and scampering or squished beside the road I didn't need to see more that a glimpse of fur to identify a critter, even at night. As I closed on this object I couldn't identify it. It had the coloration of deer, but it was much bigger. It wasn't an elk as I didn't see any legs or the characteristic outline of the hip, sholders and tappered neck had it been laying the other way. This was fast turning from an object to a body. A large, hairy body laying in the fetal position with it's back facing me. As weird as this was it was about to get even more interesting...
Confused with what I was seeing and braced for what was going to be a bumpy ride 'something' flashed directly in front of my bumper from left to right. As close as this thing was to my truck all I could see was the flash of brownish gray hair as it crossed in front of me. It was like sitting, parked in a car, at night and someone walks from one side of the car to the other. All you see is the strobe effect as they pass in front of the headlights. But I was moving at 70 mph!
I'm 5'10" tall and if I stood next to the headlights on my truck my sholders are at the height of the headlights. What I saw was more the rib section of the creature that crossed in front of me.
Whatever this was it was big enough, strong enough, fast enough and felt the need to pull a 600 pound creature out of the way of my truck because not only did I miss what ran in front of me, I didn't hit anything!
[Editor's note: You can watch Richard's interview in the documentary, Oregon Bigfoot: Search for a Living Legend Available now!
record updated:2005-03-31 00:00:00