MEDFORD, Ore. -- A car full of students on lunch break crashed about a mile from South Medford High School Thursday. Three of the teens were not wearing seat belts and were transported to the hospital with injuries.
On February 15, 2018, at 11:57 a.m., dispatch received a report that a 1995 Toyota Camry crashed in the 2700 block of Georgia Street. It's a residential area one block south of South Stage Road.
Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies estimate the vehicle was traveling about 35 to 40 miles per hour when the driver lost control in a bend in the road and crashed into an embankment.
Some of the occupants initially fled from the crash, but were brought back to the scene by parents. Deputies identified six teens in the vehicle, ranging from 15 to 17 years of age.
Only three occupants were wearing seat belts during the crash. One of the unrestrained passengers was sitting on the lap of another when the crash occurred. All of the occupants were conscious and breathing when Medford Fire and Rescue crews arrived.
One passenger received a head injury and was transported by Mercy Flights ambulance to Providence Medford Medical Center. Two others were transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center with injuries believed to be less severe.
The driver, a 17-year-old female, was cited for traffic violations including careless driving, endangering a child passenger, and violation of provisional license restrictions.
Deputies say this case underscores the importance of buckling up and following the provisional license restrictions. Oregon law allows licensed drivers under the age of 18 to drive unsupervised, but they must abide by specific rules. For the first six months, a newly licensed driver cannot have any passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. During the second six months, drivers are limited to three passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. The law also sets other curfew hours and restrictions for young drivers.