Crash near Gold Hill kills woman

GOLD HILL — A Grants Pass resident died in a car crash Thursday night after the car she was a passenger in lost control on a curve in Sardine Creek Road near Gold Hill and slammed into a tree, police reported.

Brittany Jo Nieman, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel responding to the crash in the 3000 block of Sardine Creek Road.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported the vehicle's driver, 27-year-old Johnathon Robert Lee Perkins, of Grants Pass, was attempting to negotiate a 25 mph curve at a high rate of speed after 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Police said he lost control of his vehicle, a Honda Civic, which left the road and slammed into a tree. Responding emergency personnel extricated Perkins from the vehicle. He was taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. No one else was in the vehicle.

Police suspect intoxication and excessive speed were the primary factors in the crash, according to police.

Members of the Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction team, sheriff's deputies and Medford police remained on scene for about four hours after the crash. The road remained open during their investigation.

Hospital officials said Perkins was not listed as a patient in the hospital Friday, but that a lack of listing sometimes happens with trauma cases.

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