A Medford man who stole a vehicle, instigated a high-speed car chase and caused a crash resulting in serious injuries has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Michael Ray Provencio, 36, was sentenced Thursday by Jackson County Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia after being convicted of second-degree assault, third-degree assault, unauthorized use of a vehicle and attempting to elude the police, according to a release from the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say Provencio stole a 1998 Chevy Tahoe from World Famous Auto in Medford at about 9 a.m. Oct. 31, 2017. An employee from the dealership got into a tow truck and, with help of the navigation system in the stolen car, began to follow him. The employee followed Provencio to Corey Road, where Provencio “rammed the tow truck and caused minor injuries to the employee,” the DA’s release said.
Provencio then continued west on Corey Road, when a Jackson County sheriff’s detective in an unmarked car — who had been there because of radio traffic regarding the stolen vehicle — saw Provencio and started following him.
Provencio headed south on Crater Lake Avenue at speeds of more than 70 mph and the detective slowed out of safety concerns for other motorists. A marked sheriff’s patrol vehicle pulled in behind Provencio and turned on lights and sirens.
At the intersection of Vilas Road and Crater Lake Avenue, deputies set up spike strips to disable Provencio’s car, but Provencio drove through the dirt median and into the northbound lanes of Crater Lake Highway, nearly causing a crash with another vehicle, the release said.
Provencio drove southbound on Crater Lake Highway at a high speed, prompting the sheriff’s deputy to stop the pursuit. At the intersection with Coker Butte, Provencio ran a red light and struck a Ford F-250 that was turning onto the highway. The driver of the Ford suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs and was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
Provencio suffered similar injuries and was also admitted to the hospital. When released on Nov. 5, 2017, he was lodged in the Jackson County Jail.
Court records show Provencio has a criminal history dating back 15 years, with cases involving robbery, felony meth possession, assault and weapon charges. This will be his fourth commitment to the Oregon Department of Corrections, according to the release.