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Driver tells police he could be a hit-and- run suspect

ASHLAND — A Talent man has told police he could be the driver of a pickup that struck and injured an Ashland woman late Saturday.

Jeremy Russell, 22, turned up at the Ashland Police Department on Monday and said he was driving his 2005 red Dodge pickup in the area at the time of the accident but that he was not aware of striking anyone, said Ashland police Chief Terry Holderness.

Eileen Brennan, 54, remained in critical condition Tuesday at Rogue Valley Medical Center as a result of the accident.

The accident occurred at about 10:50 p.m. near Ashland's Best Western Windsor Inn at 2520 Ashland St. Police said Brennan may have been in the parking lot of the inn when she was struck. It appeared she was struck when the pickup backed up, and it apparently dragged her for several feet before it drove away, police said.

Brennan lives near the Oak Knoll Golf Course, which is in the vicinity of where the accident occurred.

One witness said the driver appeared to be unaware that he had hit anyone, Holderness said. Russell's vehicle matches a description provided by witnesses.

It was raining at the time of the accident, so visibility may have been poor, Holderness said.

"It's rare that a driver hits someone and isn't aware of it, but it's not unheard of, depending on the weather conditions," Holderness said. "It's more common in situations where someone is backing out into a roadway."

No charges have been filed.

The Jackson County Severe Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team and the Ashland police continue to investigate the case. The evidence will be forwarded to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for review.

Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call the Ashland Police Department at 482-5211.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 776-4459 or e-mail pachen@mailtribune.com.