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Man arrested after rollover crash in downtown Medford alley

Terrence Jeffrey Chavers was arrested on felony elude as well as misdemeanor reckless driving and reckless endangering charges following a crash that caused a natural gas leak in downtown Medford. Medford police photo.

A Medford man is in the Jackson County Jail on charges accusing him of crashing into the rear of a Medford business while running from police, causing a rollover crash in a rented vehicle and prompting temporary evacuations in the downtown area overnight.

Terrence Jeffrey Chavers, 32, allegedly lost control of the U-Haul-owned Chevrolet Silverado pickup he was driving behind Al’s Cycle and Hobby shortly after midnight Tuesday, causing the truck to roll over to its side according to a Medford police post on social media about the crash.

Police say they first tried to stop Chavers in the truck near the WinCo shopping center in south Medford. The truck eluded police southbound into Talent, then circled back to Medford.

Law enforcement in both locations said Chavers had neared — and in Talent, exceeded — speeds of about 100 mph.

Medford police placed spikes on Highway 99 to slow him down as he returned to Medford from Talent. In downtown Medford, the driver attempted to lose police by speeding through the alleys, but he lost control after crossing East Fifth Street and collided into the back of the hobby shop in the 100 block of North Central Avenue.

Police say the crash caused a “significant natural gas leak,” and that Chavers attempted to light items in the truck on fire.

“Lucky for him, officers got to him before the gas did,“ the Medford police post states.

The gas leak prompted temporary evacuations until crews repaired the gas leak overnight.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office filed charges in the case and Chavers was scheduled to appear Tuesday afternoon.

Chavers is being held in the Jackson County Jail without bail for two felony counts of attempting to elude police in a vehicle, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, and misdemeanor counts for being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon — a knife that opens with a spring — reckless endangerment and second-degree criminal mischief, according to court documents.

Information about inmates in the Jackson County Jail note that he violated parole for heroin delivery conviction.

Jackson County Circuit Court records indicate that the incident was not the first time Travers has allegedly eluded police at high speeds.

At about 3 a.m. Jan. 25, Travers allegedly fled police following a stop near the Food 4 Less, and headed north on Biddle Road at about 100 miles per hour with his lights off and into oncoming lanes of traffic, according to an affidavit filed by Medford police in an earlier case that’s still pending. He crashed in Central Point near an Interstate 5 on-ramp.

Chavers is also scheduled to stand trial Jan. 6 on felony counts of possessing heroin and attempting to elude a police officer in the alleged January pursuit, along with misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a restricted weapon and recklessly endangering another person.

Chavers has a conviction for attempting to elude police stemming from an Oct. 20, 2014, high-speed chase that reached speeds of over 100 miles per hour on Interstate 5.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.