Medford woman dies in California car crash
A Medford woman died in a car crash near Willows, Calif., Wednesday and three other Rogue Valley residents were injured when the Chevy Suburban they were riding in swerved out of control on Interstate 5.
Jessica D. Cano, 24, died at the scene of the crash just south of Willows, the California Highway Patrol reported. Three men in the Suburban also were injured, while the driver of a second vehicle wasn't hurt when his car was struck by debris.
The driver of the Suburban, Thomas Drummond, 24, of Central Point, remained in critical condition Thursday at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Calif. Drew Brown, 43, condition at Enloe and Casey Brooks, 28, of Medford, initially received treated there for what police described as major spine and leg injuries, but hospital officials said he no longer was at the hospital Thursday afternoon.
Drummond was driving the 2008 Suburban north on I-5 at about 8 a.m. Wednesday when he apparently lost control on a curve in the freeway, which was wet from recent rain.
The Suburban drifted off the right side of the road, then, when Drummond tried to regain control, swerved across both northbound lanes into the center median. Drummond overcorrected and the vehicle spun, then overturned several times, finally landing on its passenger side, police said.
Debris from the tumbling vehicle hit a southbound Volvo driven by Firoz Khan, 40, of Surrey, British Columbia, and he pulled off the road safely.
CHP investigator Paul Burns told the Chico Enterprise Record that it appeared the operator of the Suburban was driving too fast for weather conditions.
Cano and Brooks weren't wearing safety belts and appeared to be sleeping in the rear seats of the Suburban. Both were thrown from the vehicle, police said. Brooks was airlifted to Enloe Medical Center, but Cano died at the scene.
Police said Brown, who was wearing a safety belt, suffered moderate head injuries.
Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485.