5-car pile-up on Hwy. 62 sends 4 to hospital

A driver who reportedly caused a five-car pile-up on Highway 62 in Medford Friday was cited after driving away from the scene, police said.

The crash occurred in the southbound lanes of Highway 62 near the intersection of Vilas Road, Medford police Sgt. D.J. Graham said.

Earl John Wilson Jr., 30, was driving a U-Haul-type truck when he apparently dropped his cellphone. He then scrambled to pick it up and took his eye off the road, Graham said. His truck then smashed into a car ahead of him at around 50 mph, Graham said.

This caused a pile-up of several cars in the lane, sending four people to the hospital, Graham said. "As of now, none of the injuries appear to be serious," Graham said.

Wilson then drove away from the wreckage and soon was found by police at a nearby gas station, Graham said. "We contacted him and he was cited and released," Graham said. Wilson was charged with reckless driving and failing to perform the duties of a driver.

The southbound lanes were closed while police investigated the crash and Oregon Department of Transportation crews cleared the wreckage.

Four of the vehicles involved most likely were totalled, Graham said. He said the crash serves as a lesson about how to deal with cellphones inside your car.

"A cellphone divides your attention, and we do not drive safely when our attention is divided," he said.


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