GOLD HILL — A Medford man died Wednesday night after he rolled his car on Old Stage Road and was ejected from the vehicle, police reported.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department said James Michael Hyde, 50, was traveling south in the 5300 block of Old Stage Road just after 11 p.m. when he lost control of his 1986 Nissan truck near the Kane Creek Road intersection.
Investigators concluded Hyde drove on the shoulder for about 200 feet before turning the wheel sharply and driving across the road into the oncoming lane of traffic. He then slammed into an embankment on the road's northeast side, where the vehicle flipped and rolled before coming to a stop. Hyde, who wasn't wearing his seat belt, was ejected from the truck.
"The vehicle followed the same path he did and ended up on top of him," said Sgt. Dace Cochran.
Jackson County Fire District No. 3 and Oregon State Police also responded, but emergency responders pronounced Hyde dead at the scene. Police said alcohol and excessive speed are being investigated as possible factors for the crash. No one else was in the vehicle, and no one else was hurt, police said. No one witnessed the crash.
Cochran said sheriff's deputies have responded to the same area for several car crashes in prior years, as the road is narrow and somewhat difficult to navigate.
"The traffic team has worked that pretty heavily at times," he said. "Historically, it's been a problem area, kind of like (Highway) 140 used to be at times. It's a twisty, turning county road with no emergency lanes."
The investigation is ongoing. A toxicology report will be conducted, but results will not be available for several weeks, Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.