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White City chase ends in field crash

A Monday-night car chase in White City ended with the fleeing vehicle crashing through a fence into a field, where it eventually wrecked in a culvert and the two Grants Pass men inside fled. 

At 8:11 p.m., the Jackson County Sheriff's Department received a call about a possible burglary in progress in the 7900 block of Timberline Road in White City, said Capt. Tim Snaith. Witnesses reported seeing two suspects leaving the scene in a silver Ford Mustang.

A sheriff's deputy spotted the vehicle driving west on Antelope Road and tried to pull it over. The driver did not yield and took off with the deputy in pursuit. In the 1500 block of East Dutton Road, the driver crashed through a fence and drove into a field, "causing large ruts and breaking irrigation piping" before it crashed into a culvert, police said.

The driver, Michael Ray Spliethof Jr., 25, and passenger Troy Anthony Goodwin, 25, fled the scene. The sheriff's department, Oregon State Police and Eagle Point police set up a perimeter in the area, then brought a K-9 unit in, Snaith said. 

Both men were found at 9:09 p.m. at a property in the 900 block in Bigham Brown Road. Spliethof was hiding in a pool house at the property, while police found Goodwin in a woodshed.

Spliethof was arraigned on a felony charge of attempt to elude, along with misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and criminal trespass, according to court documents. On Tuesday, he was held in the jail on $35,000 bail. Court records showed he has several additional theft- and drug-related convictions in Josephine County stretching back to 2011.

Goodwin was arraigned on misdemeanor charges of trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, court records showed, but is no longer listed in the jail. He has an open case out of Josephine County, where he was charged with heroin possession and theft.

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

Michael Ray Spliethof Jr.