Toxicology clears firemen

A state toxicology report revealed two Medford firefighters were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when they died this spring in an all-terrain vehicle crash near Johns Peak, sheriff's officials said Friday.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said the report was returned to his office this week and concludes the investigation into the deaths of firefighters and best friends John Wells, 51, and Gale Gurr, 37.

"The report stated both men tested negative for intoxicants," Winters said. "It was just a tragic accident."

Winters said there was no evidence found at the scene suggesting either man had been drinking at the time of the crash.

The pair were riding together April 25 near Johns Peak on a new Polaris Ranger RZR when the vehicle tumbled down a slope they were climbing and hit a tree.

When they did not return as planned, friends called the sheriff's office to report them missing. Jackson County search and rescue teams, along with firefighters from the Medford Fire Department, flooded the area in an attempt to locate the men.

A search helicopter pilot spotted the crumpled ATV at the base of a long, grassy slope in the Forest Creek drainage.

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