UPDATE, 2:58 p.m.: Investigators say a Grants Pass woman was driving an injured male to the hospital when her Honda Civic plunged into Hellgate Canyon at about 12:50 a.m. today.
The woman had called 911 to report a male had been assaulted and needed treatment, said a release from Oregon State Police. She stayed on the phone and began driving to the hospital. OSP troopers responding to the call at about 12:50 a.m. found the male in the middle of Galice Road and evidence that the Civic had gone over the side of the cliff at the Hellgate Overlook.
Rural Metro Fire personnel rappelled into the canyon, where they found the Civic with the woman dead from injuries she sustained in the crash.
OSP said no further information, such as the names of the crash victims, would be released today as the investigation is continuing.
10 a.m.: One person is dead and another seriously injured after a vehicle rolled 200 to 300 feet over an embankment at Hellgate Canyon shortly after midnight today.
Emergency crews found the injured person in the roadway and a vehicle in the canyon near Hellgate Overlook, located on Galice Road northwest of Merlin, according to a release by Rural Metro Fire & American Medical Response.
When firefighters descended the cliff to the Rogue River, they found a second occupant who had died after being ejected just above the waterline.
Oregon State Police and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office is investigating the crash and events that led up to it, the release said. An assault reportedly had occurred at a different location and the vehicle was heading toward a hospital, the release said.