Eagle Point driver 
dies in crash

Source: Mail Tribune Online Edition
Author: Anita Burke
Date: October 24, 2002

EAGLE POINT — An Eagle Point teenager died near here when he crashed his car into a ditch Wednesday evening.

A 16-year-old girl riding in the car escaped without serious injuries.

Thomas Ussary, 18, was driving south on Rogue River Drive when he lost control of his Toyota MR2 on a slight curve, said Jackson County sheriff’s deputy Glenn Ford.

The car spun around and hit a ditch, where it flew into the air and landed on its wheels. The car continued to skid until it struck another ditch and was launched airborne across Capri Drive. It landed with extreme force on the driver’s side on a grassy embankment, then tipped back onto its wheels, officials said.

Excessive speed was a factor in the accident, Ford said.

The car’s spoiler, rearview mirror, lights, and shattered glass littered the ditches. Passing cars crunched through gravel scattered across the pavement.

Frank and Lily Bell, who live near the intersection of Rogue River Drive and Capri Drive, heard the crash at 7:37 p.m. and rushed onto their porch.

"I heard the tires bark and saw the headlights go like this," Frank Bell said, making a tilting, sweeping motion with his arm.

"I grabbed the phone as I came out," said Lily Bell, who dialed 911.

The passenger climbed out the smashed windshield and ran toward the Bell’s home, the couple said. A Mercy Flights ambulance later took her to Rogue Valley Medical Center. She was treated and released. Police didn’t release her name.

The Bells said they have seen three fatal accidents in the six years they have lived on Rogue River Drive and numerous other crashes.

"We have people go by here 70 to 100 miles per hour all the time," Frank Bell said.

The pavement’s abrupt edges along Rogue River Drive can catch the tires of drivers hitting the road’s slight curve too fast and yank the car out of control, he said.

Deputies said they didn’t know if alcohol was a factor in the crash. An investigation into the accident will continue today.