POLK COUNTY — Oregon State Police responded to a death investigation on Highway 194 near milepost 1, Smith Road, at 11:13 p.m. on July 30.

A preliminary investigation revealed a white Chevrolet Silverado, operated by David Joshua Gomez, 34, of Independence, was traveling southbound when for unknown reasons his vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree down an embankment.

Gomez suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

He was reported missing when he did not show up for work on July 30.

His family searched for him and reported him missing at 8 p.m.

After an extensive search, officers with the Independence Police Department found the vehicle two-hours later with the driver inside. No foul play is suspected. The investigation is ongoing.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department, Polk County Fire, and ODOT responded to assist. The highway was closed for approximately 6 hours.

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