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May-20-2009 12:41printcomments

Man Dies in Single Car Crash in Southern Oregon

Police say the vehicle rolled and became airborne before crashing.

Fatal crash near Roseburg, Oregon 5-20-09
Photo of fatal crash scene near Roseburg: Oregon State Police

(ROSEBURG, Ore.) - Oregon State Police troopers are investigating a single vehicle fatal crash that resulted in the death of a Roseburg-area man Tuesday night, who was ejected from his out-of-control car northbound on Interstate 5 about seven miles south of Cottage Grove.

It happened at approximately 8:17 p.m. police say, when a 2000 Hyundai two-door driven by 32-year old Jason Winchell Gerkin of Roseburg, was northbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 167.

The driver reportedly lost control of the vehicle negotiating a sweeping curve.

Investigators say the car traveled off the right shoulder and impacted an embankment causing it to roll and go airborne. The vehicle came to rest near the base of a stream bed below the freeway lanes. Mr. Gerkin was not using safety restraints and was ejected from the car. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office are continuing the investigation into the cause of the crash. Troopers from the Roseburg Area Command office assisted at the scene along with Cottage Grove Fire Department and ODOT.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 at the scene were closed for about 3 hours.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.