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May-07-2008 16:24printcomments

Police Investigate Man's Death Near Roseburg

The man's wife and his mother, an 84-year old passenger in the car, were injured. All were using safety restraints.

(ROSEBURG, Ore.) - Police say 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.

Sergeant Steve Mitchell with Oregon State Police, says Tuesday at approximately 7:03 PM, a 1992 Cadillac Deville driven by 68-year old Ralph Phelps of Roseburg, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 116 when he became unresponsive from a possible medical problem.

Investigators say 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, according to Mitchell.

The Douglas County Fire District responded to the location and transported Mr. 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 mother, an 84-year old passenger in the car, 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.

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