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Death Investigation - Interstate 5 south of Roseburg
05/07/2008
Sergeant Steve Mitchell
Oregon State Police - Roseburg
Office: (541) 440-3347

A Roseburg man died at an area hospital Tuesday night when he apparently suffered a medical problem while driving on Interstate 5 south of Roseburg. The man's wife was able to stop the vehicle after it collided with a guardrail.
 
On May 6, 2008 at approximately 7:03 p.m. a 1992 Cadillac Deville driven by RALPH PHELPS, age 68, from Roseburg, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 116 when he became unresponsive from a possible medical problem. The car went toward the center concrete barrier and sideswiped it. His 64-year old wife was able to steer the car out of the northbound travel lanes and onto the right shoulder where it came to a stop.
 
Douglas County Fire District #2 personnel responded to the location and transported PHELPS to Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased by an emergency room physician about 45 minutes later.
 
Neither his wife, JANET PHELPS, or his 84-year old passenger mother were injured. All were using safety restraints.
 
Oregon State Police troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office are continuing the investigation with the Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office. ODOT also assisted at the scene but there was no blockage to freeway traffic.