NEAR PHOENIX, Ore. – A deadly car crash claims the life of a Medford woman. Law enforcement officials say that accident happened last night on Pioneer Road near Phoenix.
Pioneer Road is very winding, and authorities say the driver was going too fast. The car lost control, and rolled into an irrigation ditch. For people nearby, it was too late to help.
Max Hamilton and his friends went out to investigate a loud crashing sound Tuesday night and found a car upside down in a nearby irrigation ditch. The friends helped two injured men out of a ditch, then tried to help the driver still inside.
“The three of us jumped into the water to try to see if we could get the girl out of the car. Because we didn’t know if she was underwater, how long she had been underwater. How long the car had been there,” says Max Hamilton. But it was already too late. “We tried to get the doors open, but the car was pretty totaled, and everything was jammed shut,” Hamilton says.
Authorities say the driver, 33-year-old Jamie Walls, died at the scene. 21-year-old Andrew Gilman and 24-year-old Kendal Wheeler survived and were taken to Rogue Regional Medical Center. The Jackson County Sheriffs Office says it appears the car was going too fast around the windy road it crashed through a fence and rolled into the Talent Irrigation Canal, but they say there may have been other factors. one of the surviving passengers, Andrew Gilman, was cited for possession of methamphetamine.
“At this point, we can say that speed is a factor, we’re also looking into whether alcohol or drugs played a role,” Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Andrea Carlson.
The accident reconstruction team has been called in to investigate, and try to find out what kinds of factors may have contributed to the deadly crash.