Searchers find ATV 2,000 feet down slope

Searchers have found an all-terrain vehicle that tumbled 2,000 feet down a grassy slope on the west side of Johns Peak near Jacksonville.

Medics are at the scene of the accident, where two Medford firefighters are believed to have been riding Thursday afternoon. Whether searchers had found one or both of the men, who have not been identified, was not immediately clear.

Crews did recover a Polaris Razor 4-wheeled ATV from the bottom of a grassy slope in the Forest Creek drainage.

Search and rescue crews from Jackson, Klamath and Josephine counties have joined in the search, along with firefighters from most Southern Oregon districts.

The men were riding in the area Thursday afternoon and were due to return about 5:30 p.m. Family members began searching shortly after that, and search and rescue crews were called to start looking for them around 9 p.m., said Sheriff Mike Winters.

When they weren’t found overnight, five helicopters joined the effort at dawn this morning, and a grid search was set up on the ground.

The ATV was spotted from one of the helicopters, Winters said, and medics were lowered from the helicopter to the scene.

— Staff reports

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