Sister: Easygoing brother ‘wakes up in hospital’

Derek Leong was found injured at 25th and Belmont around 1:25 a.m. Wednesday

Derek Leong was injured in the early hours of December 13, 2016 at 25th and Belmont in Portland (Courtesy photo)
Derek Leong was injured in the early hours of December 13, 2016 at 25th and Belmont in Portland (Courtesy photo)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — After Derek Leong got off work from his janitorial job, he took the bus toward home. He got off the bus and began walking and the next thing he knew he was in the hospital.

That’s what his sisters, Shelly and Sarah Leong, told KOIN 6 News about the incident that left him hospitalized and fighting to keep his leg.

Around 1:25 a.m. Wednesday, Leong was found injured at the corner of 25th and Belmont.

Portland police say the call came in as a possible hit-and-run.

The 28-year-old recently found affordable housing and started his new job as a janitor. Shelly said her brother is “just super straight-laced, really easygoing.”

“He was walking home at the end of his shift and the next thing he knows he wakes up in the hospital,” she told KOIN 6 News. “The only thing we’ve heard is that the injuries are consistent with a car accident or someone hitting him with a car. … We’re looking for witnesses hoping anyone who heard or saw anything will come forward.”

Shelly and Sarah Leong talk about their injured brother, Derek, from their home in Vancouver, Dec. 16, 2016 (KOIN)
Shelly and Sarah Leong talk about their injured brother, Derek, from their home in Vancouver, Dec. 16, 2016 (KOIN)

She said someone called the police but she didn’t know who.

“We’re lucky that person heard that and called because how many situations people hear things and don’t speak up,” she said. “Who knows what could have happened what if he was out there for another hour?”

Leong, who may need to stay hospitalized for several more weeks, suffered multiple injuries on the right side of his body, Sarah said.

“All the ligaments in his right knee are disconnected from each other, so he has a bar that’s holding everything together. His whole right arm is shattered,” said Sarah, who lives in Vancouver.

The family said a blood vessel was transplanted from his left leg to his right. “We’re not out of the woods on whether he’s going to lose the leg,” she said.

Derek, Shelly said, is “just really quiet, friendly. He’s a hard worker.”

She wants whoever injured her brother to step up and take responsibility.

“They just need to own up to it, you know?”

Derek Leong was injured in the early hours of December 13, 2016 at 25th and Belmont in Portland (KOIN)
Derek Leong was injured in the early hours of December 13, 2016 at 25th and Belmont in Portland (KOIN)