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Dump truck and car involved in rollover crash on Upper Applegate Road

Confusing reports came in of serious crashes in the Applegate Valley on Tuesday afternoon.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 5:22 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 4:43 PM

RUCH, Ore. —

UPDATE: The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has released more information on a crash that shut down Upper Applegate Road for several hours on Tuesday afternoon.

Just after 5 p.m., dispatch received a 911 call reporting a two-vehicle crash near milemarkers 4 and 5 on Upper Applegate. The caller said that one person was hurt and the other was trapped in a car.

When deputies, firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene, they found a dump truck from the Jackson County Roads department on its side and a Chevy Impala in a ditch.

Investigators determined that 32-year-old Thomas Dew of Jacksonville had been driving the Impala southbound when he crossed the center line and hit the dump truck head-on.

"The crash caused heavy damage to the Impala, which rolled over and caught fire," JCSO said. "Bystanders helped to put out the fire, with assistance from Oregon Department of Forestry personnel who arrived a short time later. The dump truck had overturned in the roadway, blocking both lanes."

Firefighters had to extricate Dew from the wreckage of his car, after which he was taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center via Mercy Flights helicopter with "serious injuries." A passenger in Dew's car had minor injuries and declined medical transport.

"Deputies say excessive speed was a factor in the crash; no impairment was detected," JCSO said. "Dew was cited for careless driving, driving while suspended, and driving uninsured."

(Updated 7/17/19 at 4:40 p.m.)

UPDATE: The rollover crash on Upper Applegate Road happened just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO). Initial investigation found that the driver of a sedan was headed south on the road when they crossed the center line and crashed into a dump truck.

Both vehicles rolled over, with the sedan bursting into flames. However, the fire was extinguished before emergency crews arrived on the scene.

The driver of the dump truck received only minor scrapes, while the driver of the sedan had to be extricated and was airlifted via Mercy Flights. However, the Sheriff's Office said that the sedan driver likely had, at worst, broken bones.

JCSO estimates that Upper Applegate will be reopened to through-traffic by 9 p.m.

(Updated 7/16/19 at 6:30 p.m.)

UPDATE: NewsWatch 12 is on the scene of a rollover crash on Upper Applegate Road near the McKee Covered Bridge where multiple injuries have been reported.

The crash involved a dump truck and a car. The dump truck landed on its side following the crash, while the car careened into a ditch. At least one of the drivers had to be extricated from the wreckage.

A state trooper told NewsWatch 12 that both drivers appear to be in stable condition. One will be airlifted to the hospital via Mercy Flights helicopter as a "precaution."

It is unclear at this time whether the reported crash on Hwy 238 was the same crash as the rollover on Upper Applegate or a separate incident. Either way, Hwy 238 is clear while Upper Applegate has closures in place.

(Updated 7/16/19 at 6 p.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: A crash has blocked OR 238, Jacksonville Highway near Ruch, according to information from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

Both east and westbound lanes appear to be blocked at this time, and delays are expected until the crash is cleared.

NewsWatch 12 has a reporter headed to the scene. We will update this article as more information comes in.

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