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OSP seeks tips after Veneta man found injured far from home

Derek Martell had been headed home to Veneta after a hunting trip in Eastern Oregon.

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 3:12 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 11:21 PM

VENETA, Ore. – Oregon State Police are asking for the public’s help solving the unexplained discovery of an injured Veneta man far from home.

Police said they first got a call at about noon on Sept. 25 reporting that someone was lying face down in the gravel in front of a vehicle. Troopers found the silver Ford pickup truck, which had been pulling a travel trailer, at exit 109 on Interstate 84 at the bottom of the off-ramp.

Derek Martell

Derek Martell, 38, was found behind the wheel of the parked car and was unresponsive, OSP said. Martell had suffered severe head trauma and was flown to a hospital for treatment.

Martell's family said he is on the road to recovery, however they said he has been able to joke with with his wife at times. They've opened a GoFundMe account to raise money for medical expenses.

The man had reportedly been headed home to Veneta after going elk hunting with friends in Eastern Oregon. OSP said he’d talked to his wife at 11:30 a.m. that day and had not mentioned any issues.

If you were traveling from Arlington to Rufus around that time or if you have any information, contact state police at 1-800-442-2068 or *OSP from your cell phone. Callers should reference case #SP21274660.

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