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Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 5 north of Medford
08/02/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers are continuing the investigation into an early Monday morning rollover crash southbound on Interstate 5 north of Medford involving members of two San Francisco-area metal bands, "Early Graves" and "Funeral Pyre". The crash resulted in the death of the "Early Graves" vocalist and non-life threatening injuries to another band member and the van's driver who was a member of "Funeral Pyre".
 
On August 2, 2010 at approximately 5:30 a.m., a 2003 Chevrolet extended van pulling a utility trailer was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 34. The van contained five members of "Early Graves" and four members of "Funeral Pyre", reportedly enroute to Reno, Nevada from Eugene, Oregon where they played at a weekend outdoor concert.
 
The van's driver, JUSTIN H. GARCIA, age 24, from Fresno, California, reportedly fell asleep and he lost control. The van and trailer traveled off the right shoulder, rolled and came to rest off the freeway in a grassy area. The victim, MAKH (Matikeef) P. DANIELS, age 28, from Pacifica, California, was ejected from a rear cargo area where he and two others were laying down. DANIELS was pronounced deceased at the scene by responding emergency medical services personnel.
 
GARCIA and passenger TYLER S. JENSEN, age 21, from Livermore, California ("Early Graves" guitarist) were transported by ambulance to Rogue Valley Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. JENSEN was laying in the cargo area with DANIELS and a third uninjured passenger identified as JOHN S. STRACHAN, age 26, from Long Beach, California, a member of "Funeral Pyre".
 
The victim and two passengers lying in rear cargo area were not using safety restraints.  Confirmation of use by other occupants pending results of ongoing investigation.
 
The other van occupants were identified as:
  • MATTHEW J. O'BRIEN, age 28, from San Francisco, California (Early Graves)
  • DANIEL P. SHEDDON, age 27, from San Francisco, California (Early Graves)
  • CHRISTOPHER M. BROCK, age 23, from San Ramon, California (Early Graves)
  • ADAM T. CAMPBELL, age 27, from Brae, California (Funeral Pyre)
  • ALEX HERNANDEZ, age 27, city of residence unavailable (Funeral Pyre)
 
OSP troopers from the Central Point Area Command office are continuing the investigation. When completed, investigators will review it with the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for any enforcement consideration.
 
Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Central Point Police Department, Jackson County Fire District 3, and ODOT assisted at the scene. One lane remained open during the scene response and investigation.
 
Media inquiries for the "Early Graves" can be emailed to jerry@warmfuzzypublicity.com.