Police: Medical issue cause of chaotic crash

Kris Garbutt and his daughter, Krishenay, suffer minor injuries

A 36-year-old Medford father and his 8-year-old daughter escaped with only minor injuries Sunday evening after their Ford pickup struck a power pole next to the Black Bird Shopping Center, plowed through two park cars, mowed down a fence and then rolled over about 10 feet from an apartment building in west Medford.

"My dad was having a seizure," said Krishenay Garbutt, who was holding an ice pack to her head. "We hit those two cars, then the (truck) flipped on its side. I was very scared."

Krishenay described how something happened to her father before the crash, then remembers standing on an airbag and being lifted out of the truck by emergency crews.

Medford police and fire officials tried to piece together exactly what led up to the accident at the corner of Western Avenue and West Main Street with Kris Garbutt and his daughter.

"They're very lucky no one was hurt," Medford police Cpl. Chris Dode said.

He said it appeared that the father was having a medical issue before the crash. Dode said Medford police issued a citation to Garbutt because he was driving with a suspended license.

Dode said officers determined Garbutt wasn't driving under the influence of any intoxicants.

Garbutt said he was traveling north on Jeannette Avenue when his Ford F-150 went through the intersection at West Main. Jeannette turns into Western after it crosses West Main.

"I got dizzy," he said.

Garbutt said he wasn't aware that he had any medical condition, other than possibly being dehydrated.

Residents surrounding the Black Bird Shopping Center were shook by the noise and tried to piece together what happened.

Manoah Hall, a 36-year-old Medford resident, said he was driving west on West Main Street when he saw the truck dart out in from of him.

"He was definitely not stopping," he said. "It happened so damn fast."

Collin Malcolm, a 34-year-old neighbor, said he heard the impact, then rushed outside.

"I grabbed a hold of the truck to prevent it from rolling over," he said.

After emergency crews arrived, they stabilized the vehicle to prevent it from tipping over. After the daughter was removed, the father climbed out with help from firefighters as residents looked on.

"He's walking away from it," Malcolm said.

A.J. Owens, a 31-year-old who lives in an apartment building on Western Avenue, said he saw the truck flipping through the air in front of his apartment.

"It just caught air and — boom, boom," he said.

The truck landed about 10 feet from his bedroom at the corner of the apartment.

His Dodge Stratus, which was parked outside, appeared to be totaled along with a neighbor's Chrysler Town and Country minivan, but that was the least of his concerns, he said.

"I was more worried about the people inside," he said.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email dmann@mailtribune.com.

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