Driver dies after car plunges into creek, catches fire

The vehicle caught fire after hitting the water in Birdseye Creek near Valley of the Rogue State Park. (Courtesy: Sequoia Worthington)

Between Rogue River and Gold Hill on Hwy 99 early Monday morning, Oregon State Police and a handful of other emergency response agencies were called to a vehicle fire off the road.

The caller saw smoke rising out of the Birdseye Creek area near Valley of the Rogue State Park.

Once EMS arrived on-scene, they found a pickup truck partially submerged in the water that had caught on fire. The caller says she and a friend tried to put out flames by splashing water but eventually it became too dangerous for them.

According to OSP, one person was found dead in the vehicle. An autopsy will be conducted to see exactly how the driver died.

The preliminary investigation suggests that the 1987 Toyota pickup truck failed to negotiate a curve, went off the road and came to a rest in Birdseye Creek.

OSP was assisted by Rogue River Fire District, Rogue River Police, Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Oregon Department of Transportation.

Pictures of the scene were sent in by Glen Smith and are shown below.

OSP is handling the investigation at this time and will not release any identifying information regarding the driver until next of kin have been notified.

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