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Two injured in plane crash near Eagle Point

Two men were injured Thursday when a small aircraft crashed and burned in a field near Eagle Point.

A small yellow plane described by Jackson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Moran as “similar to a Piper Cub” crashed shortly before noon in the area of Meridian and Yankee Creek roads.

Two men in their 20s aboard the “older aircraft” are expected to survive after the plane struck a wire fence that is about 10 feet tall in the 900 block of Yankee Creek Road near abutting property in the 700 block of Meridian Road.

“There’s a bit of damage to that portion of the wire fencing,” Moran said. The plane crashed about 100 to 150 feet from the damaged fence into a nearby field.

Moran described the impact as “not a planned landing” — as opposed to some sort of emergency landing attempt — but why the plane crashed is under investigation.

“It was hard to tell if it was right side up or upside down due to the damage,” Moran said. Investigators later determined that the plane struck the ground on its left side.

At 11:48 a.m., an unidentified witness who saw the plane crash called 911, reported the fire and said the men were able to escape the wreckage on their own.

“Subsequently it burned almost entirely,” Moran said roughly an hour afterward near the scene of the crash.

According to Moran, “some of the injuries” were serious but not life-threatening.

The names of the plane’s occupants were not released Thursday, but Moran described the pilot and passenger as “from the Southern Oregon area” in a follow-up press release issued late Thursday afternoon.

Crews with Jackson County Fire District No. 3 responded to the fire, and Mercy Flights paramedics rushed the two men to a nearby hospital, according to Moran.

At no point during the crash did fire spread beyond the plane, but the aircraft wreckage was hardly recognizable by the time the fire was out.

“The only remaining part of the aircraft that isn’t damaged is the tail,” Moran said.

Moran said sheriff’s deputies believe the plane was “on a local flight,” but details about the plane’s destination or point of origin were not available. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Sheriff’s deputies contained what’s left of the wreckage at the scene, and are coordinating the investigation with the FAA, according to Moran.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

A small aircraft crashed Thursday in Eagle Point. Jackson County Sheriff's Office photo.