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Ninth Street crash claims life of 19-year-old woman

A stretch of Northeast Ninth Street known as "The Humps" or "Camel Humps" was the scene of a fatal crash Sunday night, when a car carrying three young people crashed into a tree.

Nichole Marie Phillips, 19, died at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center shortly after the 10:43 p.m. crash in the 1300 block of Ninth, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Ronald Evan Flansburg III, 20, was driving the 2003 Toyota Corolla south when he lost control on the hill just north of Northeast Steiger Street, near the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Flansburg and Kimberley R. Kuykendall, 17, were in stable condition this morning at Three Rivers with non-life-threatening injuries, according to a news release from the Department of Public Safety. Kuykendall was ejected, while Flansburg and Phillips remained in the car.

Grants Pass Deputy Police Chief Jim Hamilton said it's likely that Flansburg was going too fast, a common practice for young drivers going over the two consecutive hills between Savage and Hillcrest, less than a mile north of Grants Pass High.

"While we haven't made a determination of cause, based on what my guys are telling me, it's leaning that way," Hamilton said. "You hear stories about people going over the humps. It's been one of those things you'd call an attractive nuisance for years."

Hamilton said there is a 25 mph sign for southbound drivers near the crest of the hill closest to Savage.

An investigation is ongoing. Hamilton said the car's computer could reveal information about speed, direction and other variables about the car's operation prior to the crash.

Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or jduewel@thedailycourier.com.