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Fatal Traffic Crash - Interstate 5 near Gold Hill
08/13/2009
Sergeant Tanya Henderson
Oregon State Police - Central Point
(541) 776-6114

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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A Lakewood, Washington man died Thursday morning after colliding into the rear of another vehicle and rolling over onto the shoulder of the northbound lanes on Interstate 5 about one mile from Gold Hill in southern Oregon. Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from the Central Point Area Command office are continuing the investigation.
 
On August 13, 2009 at approximately 10:49 a.m. OSP troopers and local emergency personnel responded to a report of a two vehicle crash northbound Interstate 5 near milepost 40. Preliminary investigation indicates a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by JEREMY DALE SMITH, age 23, from Medford, was northbound when it was struck in the rear by a white 1998 Nissan Sentra. After impact the Nissan traveled off the right highway shoulder and rolled over onto its top.
 
The Nissan's driver, GLAFIRO JAVIER FERNANDEZ, age 76, from Lakewood, Washington was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was using safety restraints.
 
SMITH and passenger SHONTAE DIEDRE WRIGHT, age 25, were not injured. Both were using safety restraints.
 
SMITH and WRIGHT told troopers they had passed the Nissan earlier and noticed the driver was having difficulty maintaining a single lane of travel. Investigating troopers will look into the possibility the elderly male driver may have had a medical problem that could have been a contributing factor in the crash.
 
OSP troopers were assisted at the scene by Jackson County Fire District 3, Mercy Flights Ambulance, and ODOT. Traffic was limited to one lane during the investigation.