White City girl recovering after being hit by van

PROSPECT — A 6-year-old White City girl suffered only minor injuries after she fell beneath a van driven by her mother Saturday afternoon near Prospect, Oregon Sate Police said.

The accident happened about 4:45 p.m. near busy campgrounds just outside Prospect.

The girl and her siblings were running alongside the car picking up firewood when one of the children fell and accidentally tripped the 6-year-old. She rolled under the Chevrolet Ventura van and was hit by the rear tire, OSP Sgt. Steve Mitchell said.

"Luckily, the car was moving at a low rate of speed," Mitchell said.

The accident occurred on Mill Creek Road, a dirt path leading to the campground that splits off Highway 62.

The family drove the injured girl to nearby Stewart State Park and reported the incident at a ranger booth.

"I'm not sure why they went to the park to report it," Mitchell said. "They might not have had a phone with them."

Mercy Flights dispatched a helicopter to the scene and air-lifted the girl to Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford.

"The girl was treated and released later that day," Mitchell said. "I went to the hospital at around 8 p.m. that evening to check on her and she was preparing to be released."

Doctors found no evidence of internal wounds, only cuts and scrapes, Mitchell said.

The girl's mother, later identified as 24-year-old Thelma Diane Long, will not face charges in the matter.

"As far as we could tell this was an unfortunate accident," Mitchell said. "We found no evidence of wrongdoing."

OSP investigators remained near the campground for several hours piecing together the events that led up to the accident.

Mitchell advised motorists to drive carefully around campgrounds during the busy summer months.

"This was a unique situation, but it is worth repeating that there are a lot of children around campsites and the roads leading to them in the summer," Mitchell said.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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