A Tigard man died Wednesday after being shot and killed on Oregon 18 northeast of Otis in a suspected road-rage incident.
Dennis Anderson, 45, was with his partner of 18 years, Brandy Goldsbury, on a day trip to Lincoln City after a week of COVID-19 quarantine. They were headed back to their Tigard home around 8:30 p.m on July 13 when they noticed a driver in a car trying to pass them, said Goldsbury, 46.
Goldsbury, who has worked as a medical assistant at Oregon Health & Science University, said Anderson sprayed wiper fluid on his windshield while driving and some of the fluid may have gotten on the other driver’s car. “I was just like ‘ignore him, he’s having a bad day,’” she said.
The car — which police identified Tuesday as a BMW 3 Series — eventually passed, Goldsbury said, and she believed it was gone. A few miles later, however, they arrived at a rest area northeast of Otis where Goldsbury said they saw the same car parked on the side of the road.
“We drove by it, and then it got behind us,” Goldsbury said. “And then when the lanes started to turn to one again, the car started driving really close to the back of us almost like it was going to hit us. And then it would go into oncoming traffic and kind of swerve towards us, like trying to push us to the side of the forest.”
She said the other car did this a couple of times, so she told Anderson to pull over and call 911. He did. He also got out of the car while Goldsbury dialed, she said.
That’s when the driver of the other car stopped parallel to them and started shooting into the car, she said. “The last thing that he said was, ‘Oh my god, they shot me.’” Goldsbury said.
After several shots, Goldsbury unbuckled her seatbelt and flagged down passing cars for help.
“By the time I got to him, blood was coming out of his mouth,” she said. She said a man started CPR on Anderson and didn’t stop until paramedics arrived.
Police, as of Tuesday, have not made any arrests. They said the driver fled.
Oregon State Police described the suspect as a short, less-than-25-year-old man with dark hair.
In early April on U.S. 26, a driver of a Land Rover SUV fired several times at a Ford Flex carrying a family from Cannon Beach to Camas, Washington. No one was injured in that incident.
Anderson had two teenage daughters and an adult stepson.
“He’s one of those pushover dads,” Goldsbury said. “They would ask for something absolutely outrageous, and he would be like ‘no’ and then I would turn around and he’d be doing it, making it happen for them.”
Anderson grew up in Massachusetts, and his father, David Anderson, said he was best friends with his son, spending time with him on various activities that included fishing, watching New England Patriot games, and working on cars and a boat.
When they would go fishing, David Anderson, 65, said, “we would make it like a tournament – see who’d get the biggest fish.”
Goldsbury said she met her partner in online chat rooms, and Anderson drove across the country for two days from Massachusetts to Oregon to see her. “I freaked myself out and sent him away,” Goldsbury said. “I was like ‘no, no we can’t do this, I can’t have strange people coming to my house.’”
But then she said she reconsidered. When Anderson had already driven to Hood River, she said she called him back. “And then he came back, and then he never left,” Goldsbury said.
The couple, who have lived in the Portland area since 2008, did many things together, from starting a soap company to taking family trips to the coast.
“There’s a little hamburger place in Lincoln City that we would go to,” she said. “That was the kids’ and Dennis’ favorite place to go. It’s a little dive burger joint, but they loved it.”
Their dream was to buy a house in the Lincoln City-area, Goldsbury said.
Anderson also made changes in his life to spend more time with his daughters. He recently left a pharmacy job and delivered pizzas part-time to spend more time with his kids, she said.
His stepmother, Karen Anderson, said Goldsbury and the three children were his world.
“His life revolved around them,” said Anderson, 67, who lives in Sharon, Massachusetts.