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Elderly Medford man dies following Friday crash

A Medford man died shortly after crashing his car into a power pole on Springbrook Road earlier today.

Medford police said Thomas Eugene Brown, 84, of the 300 block of Vancouver Street, was driving his 2009 GMC Sierra southbound on Springbrook Road at about 11 a.m. when he drifted across into the northbound lanes near Pinebrook Circle. His truck smashed into a pole, causing the airbags to deploy. Brown was not wearing a seatbelt, but police said he was not ejected. No one else was in the truck with him, and Brown did not slam into any other vehicles or pedestrians before he hit the pole.

Witnesses who saw the crash began CPR. Police and medical personnel arrived and found Brown to be unresponsive and appeared to be in cardiac arrest.  He was transported to Providence Medford Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at about 12:20 p.m.

Investigators closed Springbrook Road between East McAndrews and Lone Pine roads for about two hours. The reason for Brown's sudden drift across traffic lanes is still under investigation. Brown appeared to be driving at or below the speed limit prior to the crash, based on witness statements, police said.

"Based on the driving before the crash, just kind of slowly drifting over into oncoming lanes and striking that pole, (that) would perhaps indicate a medical issue," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police. "We're looking at that."

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