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Sheriff: Driver accused of manslaughter, intoxicated driving in fatal O'Brien crash

Two other people were alive and apparently escaped without serious injuries following the crash.

Posted: Aug 13, 2019 5:51 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2019 10:41 AM

O'BRIEN, Ore. —

UPDATE: The driver in a fatal single-vehicle crash near O'Brien on Tuesday afternoon has been taken into custody, according to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).

Deputies arrived at the crash site at the end of Lone Mountain Road around 12:45 p.m., about two miles beyond where the paved road ends.

"This section of Lone Mountain Road is a single lane gravel road also known as Forest Service Road 4402," the Sheriff's Office said.

The driver, 49-year-old Craig Steven Clow, had already self-extricated following the crash. He and a woman who had also gotten out of the wreck called for help.

According to JCSO, it was a man named Robert E. Taylor who first responders discovered dead in the car.

"Upon investigation, it was determined Craig Steven Clow was driving the vehicle on a single lane gravel road which extends from the end of Lone Mountain Road," the Sheriff's Office said. "As Clow was driving the vehicle towards Redwood Highway, the vehicle left the roadway and went down a steep embankment, rolling several times."

The car finally came to rest about 75 to 100 feet below the roadway, at the bottom of the hill.

The woman passenger only received minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. Clow also declined medical treatment and was taken into custody at the scene.

"A dog named Jeffrey who is a pit-bull mix was in the vehicle at the time of the crash but fled and has not been located," JCSO said.

Clow has been charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, assault in the fourth degree, and manslaughter in the second degree. His case has been referred to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office.

(Updated 8/14/19 at 10:40 a.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: One man died in a single-vehicle crash over an embankment near O'Brien on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Illinois Valley Fire District (IVFD). Two other people in the car survived and apparently escaped without serious injuries.

Firefighters and paramedics responded just after 12:30 p.m. following reports of a two-door sedan crashing down a hillside along Lone Mountain Road, just west of 19 Road.

"Units found the male driver had self-extricated and was able to climb the embankment and was sitting on the side of the road," fire officials said.

Illinois Valley Fire Chief Hoke and one Firefighter Miller rappelled nearly 100 feet down the hillside to the crashed vehicle, finding one man dead. Meanwhile, IVFD said that Chief Ismaili also rappelled down and helped a woman climb up to the roadway from the wreck.

"The cause of the crash is under investigation by Josephine County Sheriff's Office," fire officials said. "The road was closed for a few hours."

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