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Rollover traps local teen's head under car

A 15-year-old girl narrowly escaped with her life when the vehicle she was riding in rolled this afternoon south of Jacksonville, trapping her head in a shallow depression beneath the small SUV, Jackson County sheriff's deputies reported.

The girl was taken to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center for observation but had no obvious injuries, a Jackson County Sheriff's Department news release said.

The 16-year-old driver of the Volkswagen Touareg and a 16-year-old passenger also were uninjured, the news release reported.

The three teenage girls left school early to go swimming. Around 12:35 p.m. Friday, the teen driver, who had received her provisional driver's license less than four months earlier, was driving at unsafe speeds on a stretch of gravel road in the 7000 block of Griffin Lane, authorities reported.

The 15-year-old girl sitting in the front seat had apparently unbuckled her seatbelt to pick a cellphone off the floor right before the Volkswagen rolled, the news release said.

The passenger's head went through the open moon roof and remained trapped for more than an hour. The crash would have been fatal were it not for a depression in the road beneath the moon roof's opening, the release said.

The driver was cited for careless driving and driving without privileges. Provisional licenses issued to drivers younger than 18 restrict new drivers from carrying non-family passengers under the age of 20 for the first six months they have a license. Violating the restriction invalidates the provisional license, officials explained.

— Thomas Moriarty

No injuries were reported in this rollover crash on Griffin Lane outside of Talent. Photo courtesy Jackson County Sheriff's Department