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Police Pursuit Drug Suspects Before Head-on Crash on I-5Salem-News.com
OSP Seeks Public's Assistance Following Crash On Interstate 5
(JACKSON COUNTY, Ore.) - OSP is continuing its investigation into Saturday afternoon's crash on Interstate 5 south of Grants Pass and wants to clarify that no arrests have been made in direct connection with the hit and run on Saturday.
On Saturday, October 22, 2016 Oregon State Police (OSP) received information about a 2011 silver Mercedes sedan that was involved with possible drug trafficking and had an endangered female as a passenger.
The information was this vehicle was traveling to Grants Pass from Medford. OSP Troopers were provided this information and actively looking for the vehicle.
At about 3:30PM, an OSP Trooper observed the Mercedes northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 55, noting it had committed at least two traffic violations.
The Mercedes exited Interstate 5 and began to travel west on Grants Pass Parkway. The trooper attempted to stop it at the intersection of Grants Pass Parkway and Agness Avenue.
The vehicle pulled into a Shari's Restaurant parking lot near that intersection in response to being pulled over. Once in the parking lot, a female passenger exited the vehicle and fled on foot. The Mercedes then sped away traveling on Grants Pass Parkway towards Interstate 5.
The trooper began to pursue the vehicle which drove the wrong direction onto the Interstate 5 northbound off-ramp at milepost 55.
The trooper did not follow the Mercedes the wrong direction onto the off-ramp and immediately terminated the pursuit, due to the actions of the driver.
A short time later, OSP received a report of a head-on crash at milepost 52 on Interstate 5 northbound. Upon emergency crews arriving, they discovered the Mercedes had collided head-on with a northbound 2004 Toyota Camry.
The driver of the Toyota, 61-year old Vicki L Bigham, of Merlin, was seriously injured and taken to Providence Medford Medical Center.
It is believed one occupant of the Mercedes fled into a nearby wooded area. Another occupant attempted to force his way into other motorists' vehicles without success.
This occupant, identified as 25-year old Jacob R Strock, was subsequently taken to Providence Medford Medical Center with serious injuries.
Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to search for the other occupant of the Mercedes, including a K9 team from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
After extensively searching the area, the other person could not be located. There is no description of the unknown occupant and it is still being investigated if Mr. Strock was a passenger or the driver.
The female that fled in the Sharis parking lot was later identified has been contacted by investigators. Her name will be released at a later time.
On Monday, October 24, 2016, OSP Detectives were conducting general follow up after learning the registered owner of the Mercedes, 24-year old Caleb Bradley, of Grants Pass, had multiple warrants for his arrest.
Those arrest warrants were from previous cases and not related to the crash. Detectives and Troopers located Bradley in Medford where he was arrested.
OSP does not currently believe Bradley was operating the Mercedes at the time of the crash.
If anyone has information on this incident or witnessed the crash they are asked to call the Oregon State Police at 541-776-6111.
OSP was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Source: News Release from Oregon State Police
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