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Medford man dies in crash along Highway 99

This story has been updated

A 23-year-old Medford man died after an early Saturday morning crash on Highway 99 north of downtown Phoenix.

Dakota Arthur was pronounced dead after his 2002 Mazda was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed and slid sideways into a power pole around 5:45 a.m., according to a preliminary investigation by the Oregon State Police.

The passenger, Danielle Ramirez, 24, of Medford was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to a photo taken by OSP, the vehicle was almost split in two when it hit the power pole. The car hit the pole sideways directly into the driver’s side door.

“There was a large debris field,” said Jason John, Medford Fire-Rescue battalion chief. He said he saw what appeared to be chunks of concrete strewn around the vehicle but wasn’t able to get a closer look because the accident reconstruction team was at work.

Highway 99 was closed for about an hour while the reconstruction team was at the scene. The highway at milepost was reduced to one lane for four hours while the crash site was cleaned up, with the Oregon Department of Transportation directing traffic.

The crash was located about 100 feet north of Northridge Terrace. The power pole was located on the sidewalk next to the northbound lanes of South Pacific Highway in front of the Northridge Center, an assisted-living facility.

OSP was assisted by the Phoenix Police Department, Talent Police Department, Medford Fire Department and the ODOT.

This wasn’t the only crash that kept emergency service crews busy in the Phoenix area.

Just before 7 p.m., Friday, a Ford truck pulling a trailer that was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 at milepost 23 veered off the freeway and rolled over off the roadway.

The driver, Jerry Chu, 56, of Sacramento, California, was uninjured, according to OSP.

Traffic backed up on I-5 when emergency crews started arriving at the scene after the emergency call was placed at 6:42 p.m.

The truck was sitting on its side in a grassy area a short distance from the freeway.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

Medford man dies in crash Saturday morning in Phoenix. Photo courtesy of Oregon State Police.