Weather blamed for fatal crash on 140

Icy roads led to a single vehicle crash that took the life of a Grants Pass man Friday afternoon on Highway 140, police said.

Witnesses told Oregon State Police troopers a Chevrolet pickup traveling west on the highway 24 miles east of Medford went out of control on the snowy road and slid over a 50-foot embankment.

"The witnesses in the cars behind him said they weren't going that fast," said OSP Sgt. Tanya Henderson. "We do not think speed was a factor in this crash. This was entirely weather related. His car fishtailed and went over the embankment."

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

"We are having a difficult time locating his family," Henderson said. "We know he has a son in the United States Merchant Marine on the East Coast."

OSP troopers arrived just after 2 p.m. and worked at the scene for nearly three hours. The highway remained open during the investigation, Henderson said.

The man was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

OSP troopers from the Central Point Area Command Office are completing the investigation. They were assisted at the scene by crews from the Lake Creek Fire Department, Jackson County Fire District No. 3, Mercy Flights Ambulance and Oregon Department of Transportation.

The crash capped a busy day for OSP troopers on the county's icy roads.

"We responded to several crashes throughout the day, though none as serious as this," Henderson said. "In fact, the trooper who responded to the fatal crash had just left two accidents."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail

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