Trash thrown from overpass lands three people in jail

Two men and a woman have been arrested for throwing a large bag of debris, including a metal post, off the Barnett Road overpass onto Interstate 5 early this morning.

The metal post ripped through the radiator of a car that couldn't avoid hitting the tossed trash, Medford police said.

Cassandra Whaley-Yarbro, 18; Michael Althof, 20; and Cory Wilson, 20; all of Medford, have been lodged in Jackson County Jail on charges of first-degree throwing an object off an overpass, first-degree criminal mischief and recklessly endangering another person.

Throwing an object off an overpass is a felony. Throwing any kind of object, no matter how small or light, off an overpass could cause serious injuries or death to motorists traveling on the affected roadway. The Medford police department is very thankful that this incident did not cause any injury to the victim motorist, Lt. Bob Hansen said in a news release.

Police said that at about 1:30 a.m. the three suspects found a large bag of debris, including leaves and a T-shaped metal post, down the side of the overpass embankment near Dairy Queen. The three took the bag up to the top of the overpass and threw it down onto the northbound lanes of I-5.

A man from Central Point attempted to swerve around the bag but was unable to avoid a collision. He heard a loud bang and pulled over to find the metal T-post protruding from the front grill of his car, police said. The man, whose identity has not been released, was not injured in the incident. Responding officers found Althof, Wilson and Whaley-Yarbro walking near the intersection of Barnett Road and Alba Drive and noted that they matched a witness's description of people seen throwing objects from the Barnett Road overpass onto I-5.

In January, Ashland police arrested John David Thiry, a 40-year-old homeless man linked to the Oak Knoll fire, after a driver called 9-1-1 to report seeing Thiry throw a 3-foot, orange plastic traffic pin off the bridge and onto the freeway, according to police reports.

— Mandy Valencia

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