(Update: Sister of motorcyclist, Jeanie Holly, speaks about brother)
Johnny Phillips 'would help people, anybody with whatever they needed'
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – “It was like an, ‘Oh, my God.' How could someone leave my brother on the side of the road? He never regained consciousness. He was had (a) brain injury, brain bleed, and he never came back."
Jeanie Holly heard the devastating news that her older brother, Johnny Phillips passed away from serious injuries after a motorcycle crash with a late-model pickup last Thursday night.
“My younger brother called me and told me he was in a hit-and-run, he didn’t have any information, and I went to the hospital," Holly said. "Once I got back there with him -- it was hard to see him like that. He was not responding to anything. He was just lying there.”
Deschutes County 911 received a call shortly before 11 p.m. last Thursday regarding a hit-and-run crash involving a motorcycle and unknown vehicle on southbound Highway 97 near Northwest Larch Avenue, Sergeant Steven Binstock said.
Police arrived and provided first aid to the male motorcycle rider before Redmond Fire & Rescue took him to the hospital. He later died of his injuries.
Holly described Johnny as someone who she could depend on to be there, for her and others.
“He would help people anybody with whatever they needed. He was a great friend to a lot of people," Holly said. "I’ve been going through his things -- cleaning out his trailer, putting his life to rest. When people are around, I’m really trying to hold it together. I think I’m doing okay.”
She urged the person responsible for her brother's death to come forward.
“I’d like them to realize that he was a person," Holly said. "He was a husband, He was a grandpa, he was a dad. He deserves you to come forward.”
According to Holly, Johnny's kids, who are in their 30s, are very shut off, as they also struggle to process the loss of their dad.
Binstock said police are seeking information from the public and surveillance video from nearby homes and businesses to help them find the driver. The initial investigation tentatively identified the suspect vehicle as a late-model Dodge Ram pickup, he said.
Binstock said Tuesday he had no new information to share about the investigation.
If you have a home or business with surveillance cameras on Highway 97 or the nearby streets of West Antler and Evergreen avenues and Veterans Way, police ask that you review video between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. on Thursday for a pickup matching that description.
Anyone with information about the crash was asked to contact Redmond Police through county non-emergency dispatch, 541-693-6911.
"RPD extends its appreciation to the compassionate people that stopped and assisted the victim on scene and the Oregon State Police for completing the crash reconstruction portion of the investigation," Binstock added.