Fiery crash kills five in Josephine County

Five people died Thursday inside a Mercury station wagon when it crashed and burst into flames at Deer Creek Road near Milepost 7.5 in Selma.

The identities of the victims, including those of two children under the age of 6, have not yet been released pending the outcome of autopsies. The autopsies could be complete as early as today, said Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson.

Fire crews from Illinois Valley Fire District responded to the accident, which happened at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday. They extinguished the flames and found the remains of five people inside.

Police investigators said it appears the station wagon was headed west on Deer Creek when the driver lost control, spun off the roadway and hit two oak trees. The impact probably caused the car to explode.

Investigators are working with the family's likely friends and relatives to try to positively identify the victims.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

— Paris Achen

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