The long-time partner of an Oregon father gunned down in an apparent road rage incident earlier this month has said she believes the altercation began because of windshield wiper fluid.
Dennis Anderson, 45, and his partner of 18 years, Brandy Goldsbury, were driving back from a day trip on the night of July 13 when the passenger of another car opened fire on Highway 18, killing Anderson. The Oregon State Police has deemed the shooting a “suspected road rage incident.”
Goldsbury told The Oregonian the couple had been driving back to their Tigard home — on the southwest side of Portland — around 8:30 p.m. when Anderson sprayed wiper fluid on his windshield.
She believes some of the wiper fluid may have hit the car behind them, angering the driver.
“I was just like ‘Ignore him, he’s having a bad day,’” she said.
They believed that, after the driver passed them and drove off — in what police say was a BMW 3 series with a body type similar to a 2006 model — that was the end of it. But, a few miles later, Goldsbury said they saw the same car waiting at a rest area.
As they drove by, the car pulled out behind them.
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“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,” she said. “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.”
They decided to pull over along the highway near the northwest most corner of Polk County to call 911. While Goldsbury called, Anderson got out of the vehicle
That's when the car pulled up alongside him and opened fire.
“The last thing that he said was, ‘Oh my God, they shot me,’” Goldsbury said.
She told local station KGW she “couldn’t get out of my seat fast enough” as she struggled with her seatbelt.
By the time she did reach Anderson and flag down other motorists to help — including a man who performed CPR until emergency responders could arrive — Anderson had blood coming out of his mouth.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Goldsbury is how hoping for justice for Anderson’s killer, who remains on the run. Police have described the shooter, who had been sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle, as a younger man believed to be less than 25 years old with a medium complexion, short dark hair and small stature.
“They need to realize what they did and how they impacted not only me and my family but our community,” Goldsbury said of those in the vehicle.
Anderson was the father of two teenage girls and the stepfather to Goldsbury’s adult son.
The couple had met online nearly two decades earlier and began dating after Anderson drove from his Massachusetts home to Oregon to visit her.
The couple quickly hit it off and went on to start a family together.
“He’s one of those pushover dads,” she told the local paper. “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’s father, David Anderson, described his son to the outlet as his best friend and said the pair often spent time together working on cars, fishing and watching the New England Patriots.
While speaking with Oxygen.com in 2018 about how to prevent road rage, Steve Albrecht, a violence assessment expert, recommended staying in the car, locking the doors and calling 911.
"There's no value to getting out of your car and trying to reason with this person or argue with them or fight them, there's no value to that," he said. "So, use your car as a safety device and get out of there."
Goldsbury said she is know trying to figure out how to go on without Anderson.
“They stole the most important person in my life from me and from his children, you know? It’s the worst kind of death," she told KPTV.
Anyone with information about the crime is urged to reach out to Oregon State Police.