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Cell Phone Signal Helps Lead Police & Fire Responders to Trapped Driver in Overturned Vehicle - Highway 126E near Leaburg

October 20, 2013

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

Photograph link valid at least 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police

A 19-year old Springfield man received minor injury following an early Sunday morning rollover crash on Highway 126E near Leaburg. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from the Springfield Area Command are continuing the investigation after the driver was cited for DUII and other traffic-related charges.

According to Trooper Evan Sether, on October 20, 2013, at approximately 4:11 a.m., OSP received information from the Lane County Sheriff's Office regarding a possible traffic crash in the McKenzie Highway area. A friend of the involved driver called police after receiving a phone call from the driver indicating he was trapped in his car after crashing at an unknown location.

Troopers and deputies began searching the area for a sign of the traffic crash. A trooper eventually reached the entrapped driver by phone and narrowed the search area as 9-1-1 operators were determined an approximate location from the driver's cell phone signal. The driver listened for approaching sirens until his vehicle was located at 5:26 a.m. by fire personnel off Highway 126E at Greenwood Drive near milepost 22.

The driver, identified as STERLING BUXTON, age 19, from Springfield, was extricated by McKenzie Fire & Rescue and evaluated at the scene for only minor injuries. BUXTON was using safety restraints and airbags deployed. He was trapped in his vehicle for approximately two hours before he was located and extricated.

The investigation determined BUXTON was driving a Honda Accord eastbound on Greenwood Drive approaching the T-intersection with Highway 126E. BUXTON failed to stop at the stop sign, traveled through the intersection and went off the road into a ditch approximately 15 - 20 feet deep. The car collided head-on with the bottom of the ditch and rolled over coming to rest on its top.

BUXTON was subsequently cited to appear in Lane County Circuit Court for:

* Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (Alcohol)
* Reckless Driving
* Minor in Possession of Alcohol While Driving
* Fail to Obey a Traffic Control Device (Stop Sign)

Alcohol, excessive speed and poor visibility related to reported area fog are being investigated as contributing factors to the crash.

OSP was assisted at the scene by the Lane County Sheriff's Office and McKenzie Fire & Rescue. The highway was restricted to one lane for approximately one hour during the extrication process and vehicle removal.


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