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Man pleads guilty to injuring 2-year-old while driving drunk

GOLD HILL — A Josephine County man charged with smashing his truck into a car while drunk and injuring a 2-year-old passenger pleaded guilty to assault and DUII charges last week.

O'Brien resident Jon Allen Firehammer, 40, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, DUII and two counts of reckless endangerment Friday, court records show. An original charge of second-degree assault, included in a June indictment, was dropped.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour sentenced Firehammer on Friday to four years in prison, prosecutors said. He also will have his drivers license suspended for five years and serve three years of post-prison supervision after his release.

Firehammer admitted to causing an accident around 7 p.m. May 31 in the 100 block of North River Road in Gold Hill. Firehammer's Dodge Dakota truck swerved into oncoming traffic and struck a Ford Mustang, injuring a 2-year-old boy who was a passenger in that car.

The boy was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries, then airlifted to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, officials said. Prosecutor Jeremy Markiewicz said the boy stayed at OHSU for about a week for treatment before he was released. He added the boy is still recovering.

Markiewicz said the second-degree assault charge was dropped, as a passenger in Firehammer's truck was the only person to point to him as the driver. Both Firehammer and the passenger were intoxicated at the crash site and each told responding Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputies that the other had been driving, officials said. Firehammer admitted he was the driver at Friday's change-of-plea hearing, however.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.