'Lucky to be alive'

Four Ashland girls landed in the hospital after their speeding car left North Valley View Road, was launched into the air and rolled across a pasture Tuesday night.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said Samantha Laverne Loper, 17, of Ashland, was speeding in her Dodge Neon south on North Valley View Road when she missed a right curve. The car skidded about 200 feet on the road, then left the roadway and hurtled roughly 100 feet through the air before hitting the ground again and rolling multiple times.

The crushed and battered car landed on its wheels in a field near the intersection with East Valley View Road, the sheriff said.

The car left the road at a driveway in the 1100 block of North Valley View Road and the residents heard the crash and called 9-1-1, Winters said.

Crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 and Ashland Fire and Rescue had to extricate Loper and her three passengers — Devian Lynn Joss, 15; Miranda Christina Joss, 12; and Ila Jade McTaggart, 12. All were taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center by ambulance.

Loper was in serious condition with a broken back, Winters said. Hospital officials said Wednesday that Devian Joss and McTaggart were in fair condition. Miranda Joss was released from the hospital after treatment.

"They are absolutely lucky to be alive," Winters said. "They were traveling well in excess of a reasonable speed for the area."

Crash reconstructionists from the sheriff's department and Medford police are investigating the crash and charges are pending, Winters said. The investigation will reveal information about speed and seat belt usage.

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