Central Point driver faces charges after hitting tree, traffic light, hydrant, bank
A Central Point man faces driving under the influence and other charges after the pickup he was driving knocked over a traffic light, sheared off a fire hydrant, broke a small tree and struck Sterling Savings Bank on Stewart Avenue in Medford late Wednesday.
Medford police arrested Dewey James Morris, 28, of the 500 block of Mountain View Drive, Central Point, on charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants, failure to perform the duties of a driver, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangering.
Police were notified of a crash near the intersection of Stewart Avenue and Kings Highway at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.
When officers arrived, witnesses told them two men had run away from a Ford pickup that had been traveling east on Stewart when it hit the light pole, jumped a curb, then smashed into the hydrant and tree, before finally striking the bank building and coming to a stop.
Police searched the area and found Morris and his 29-year-old brother David Morris hiding a few blocks from the scene of the crash, Doney said. Both had only minor injuries.
The traffic signal at the intersection will be out until crews can replace the broken pole, Medford Public Works Director Cory Crebbin said. Crews are checking the city's inventory and that of the Oregon Department of Transportation for a signal pole that will work in that location, he said, explaining that poles are often custom-made for specific intersections. If they find one, the light could be up and running again within a week or two. Drivers should expect to see flashing red signals and a portable stop sign controlling the intersection until repairs are made.
Police and city officials had no immediate estimate on the cost to repair all the crash damage.
The bank was open for business as usual Thursday.