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Driver will face charges in death

His 23-year-old passenger died Sunday when his car hit an embankment

A White City man will face manslaughter and drunken-driving charges stemming from a one-car crash early Sunday that killed a 23-year-old passenger in his car.

Prosecutors on Monday filed charges of second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence of intoxicants against Christopher Wayne Evans in connection with the death of Jenny Ilene Lockhart of Central Point.

Lockhart was a passenger in Evans' white Nissan 300 ZX that failed in dense fog to turn at a T-intersection at Table Rock and Wilson roads near Central Point, authorities said. The car hopped a ditch and slammed into an embankment about 3:40 a.m., police said.

Lockhart and Evans were both wearing safety belts, police said. Lockhart was pronounced dead at the scene, while Evans was taken to the Rogue Valley Medical Center for treatment.

When Evans was about to be discharged from RVMC around lunchtime Monday, sheriff's deputies arrested him on the manslaughter and DUII charges, said Tim Barnack, an assistant district attorney in Jackson County.

Those charges were filed in Jackson County Circuit Court late Monday, Barnack said. Evans, who lives on the 3700 block of Falcon Street, was scheduled for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. today, Barnack said.

Jackson County sheriff's deputies took Evans from RVMC to the Jackson County Jail, where he was being held Monday night on more than &

36;1 million bail.

Police said friends indicated that Evans had been drinking early Sunday morning at several bars.

Blood was drawn at the hospital to measure Evans' blood-alcohol content, but the results were not available in police reports Monday.

Lockhart, a former manager of a Medford sandwich shop, and Evans were longtime acquaintances, said Scott Gardner, who said he was friends with both people. Lockhart, who was a longtime Rogue Valley resident, had recently returned to Jackson County after living briefly in Idaho, Gardner said.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail