Rescued crash survivors remain hospitalized

The California man and woman assisted by a Medford racing team after their car left Interstate 5 and struck a tree before bursting into flames over the weekend are still recovering in a Springfield hospital.

Devin Reed Jokerst, 22, of Santa Cruz, and Sophie Chen, 23, of San Francisco, are being treated at Sacred Heart Riverbend Hospital. Jokerst is in good condition, while Chen was listed in critical condition.

The two were driving south on I-5 near milepost 113 at around 2 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 24, when their car left the road and smashed into a tree. A local racing team consisting of Medford residents Pat Green, Monte Bischoff, Dwayne Melvin and Ron Bray, were about a half-mile behind them and pulled over to help.

While Green called 911, Bischoff, Melvin and Bray helped keep the fire at bay by pouring water, soft drinks and ice from their cooler over it. They helped Jokerst escape the car by breaking the rear window, reclining the seat and pulling him out. They continued to try to quench the fire until emergency crews arrived, extinguished the remaining flames and extricated Chen from the wreckage.

Oregon State Police said the official cause of the crash remains under investigation. No citations have been filed.

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