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A Mercy Flights helicopter transports

Rollover wreck near Emigrant Lake

Story and photos by Jennifer Squires

— — Firefighters from Jackson County Fire District 5 — and a Jackson County Sheriff&

s deputy examine the area where a navy — blue Isuzu Rodeo ran off a 40-foot embankment, injuring the driver and passenger.

— —

The trio of neon-green Buddhas glued to the dash board were the only items in the dark blue Isuzu Rodeo that weren&

t knocked out of place when the vehicle rolled down a rocky 40-foot embankment near Emigrant Lake around 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

The unidentified driver and passenger &

two women in their 20s &

were not as lucky.

One was able to climb from the SUV after it came to rest against a jagged boulder on it&

s driver&

s side. She was taken by ambulance to Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford.

The other needed to be pulled from the vehicle by paramedics and airlifted by Mercy Flights to RVMC.

Paramedics would not comment on the condition of either woman.

The accident occurred when the women turned onto the gravel road, an access point to the lake off of Highway 66 approximately seven-tenths of a mile south of the main entrance. The driver apparently lost control in the loose rock, according to Jackson County Fire District 5 Division Chief Darin Welburn.

The zig-zag tire tracks ran about 80 meters from the highway to the point where the SUV drove off the right side of the road.

&

They had to be scootin&

along pretty good by the time they got here,&

Welburn said.

The vehicle dove over the side, dislodging at least one of the chair-sized boulders on the embankment before it came to rest on the driver&

s side.

Speed may have been a factor in the crash.

Rescue crews from Fire District 5 and Ashland Fire and Rescue, as well as a Jackson County Sheriff&

s deputy, responded to the scene.

Neither the women&

s identities nor the extent of their injuries were available at press time.

Staff writer Jennifer Squires can be reached at 482-3456 x 3019 or jsquires@dailytidings.com.