The first fatality in Jackson County in 2008 occurred just north of Eagle Point on Wednesday, Jan 2.
At approximately 6:56 p.m., a 1998 Subaru Impreza driven by Nicholas Gordon, age 20, from Ashland, was westbound on Highway 62 near milepost 12 when the driver attempted to pass another vehicle. Gordon saw a vehicle approaching and braked in attempt to slow down and get back into the westbound lane. He lost control of the vehicle and began to fishtail, sliding broadside into the eastbound lane where the Subaru was struck in the driver’s side by the Toyota Highlander, which was the approaching vehicle. That vehicle was driven by Erik Larsen, age 77, from Shady Cove. After the initial impact, an eastbound 2002 Hyundai sport utility vehicle struck the back of the Toyota Highlander causing minor damage. That stretch of the highway, which is near the Willamette Egg Ranch is straight, but has a rise in it.
According to the Oregon State Police report, Nicholas Gordon was using
a seat belt. His brother, Maxwell Gordon, age 17, also from Ashland,
was in the right front passenger seat. He was critically injured and
transported to Rogue Valley Medical Center by Mercy Flights Ambulance.
The initial police report could not confirm whether a safety restraint
had been in use.
Erik Larson and his wife, Susan Larson, age
69, were both using seat belts. They were transported to Rogue Valley
Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
of the Hyundai, Walter Orange, age 57, and Michelle Orange, age 64,
both from Eagle Point, were not injured. Both were using seat belts.
State Police were assisted at the scene by Jackson County Sheriff’s
Office, Shady Cove Police, Eagle Point Police, Jackson County Fire
District No. 3 and ODOT. The highway was closed for 2 ½ hours.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent