Shady Cove man dies in DUII crash

A Shady Cove woman is in the Jackson County Jail after allegedly driving drunk and crashing her truck Sunday afternoon, killing her passenger.

Debra Gibbs, 43, is being held on more than $1 million bail on charges of second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants, jail records show.

Jackson County sheriff's deputies say Gibbs had been driving southwest on Rogue River Drive outside Shady Cove at about 2:45 p.m. Sunday when she lost control of her 2001 Ford Ranger pickup in the 5000 block. The truck struck a guardrail and rolled down a hill until it came to rest in Long Branch Creek.

Passenger Michael H. Johnson, 42, also of Shady Cove, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene from his injuries, a press release said. Gibbs received minor injuries, it said.

A preliminary investigation showed Gibbs' blood-alcohol content was at .13, over the legal limit of .08, the release said. Excessive speed is also believed to have played a factor in the crash, it said.

Sheriff's deputies, firefighters from Jackson County Fire District No. 3, Jackson County Fire District No. 4 and Mercy Flights responded to the crash.

Sheriff's department officials could not immediately be reached for comment on how Gibbs and Johnson knew each other or to provide more details about the crash.

— Ryan Pfeil

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