Driver hurt, charged in Santiam Jct. DUII crash

Bandon man, 5-year-old son taken to hospital

A Bandon man, allegedly driving drunk with his 5-year-old son, crashed his SUV near Santiam Junction early Saturday morning, sending both to the hospital, and faces a range of charges, including DUII and reckless driving, Oregon State Police reported.

A Bandon-area man is facing multiple charges following an alcohol-involved serious injury single vehicle crash that occurred overnight at the Santiam Pass junction of Highway 126 and Highway 20. The man and his 5-year old son received non-life threatening injuries for which they are being treated at a Bend hospital.

According to OSP Senior Trooper Jason Hansen, around 5 a.m., OSP and local emergency responders were notified by a passing motorist of a single-vehicle crash scene spotted off the highway at the Santiam Junction of highways 126 and 20 in Linn County.

Upon arrival, they found a man and 5-year-old boy with possible serious injuries in a 1994 Ford Explorer, he said.

Once out of the wreckage, Jeremy Lee Ward, 31, of Bandon, and his 5-year-old son, Troy, were taken by ambulance to St. Charles-Bend, where the father was listed in fair condition Saturday evening, according to a nursing supervisor. She had no record of the boy still being there.

An initial investigation indicates that n Friday evening, Jeremy Ward left his home with the boy, troopers said.

The child's mother told OSP she contacted the Coos County Sheriff's Office because she was concerned for her son's welfare and that the father had been drinking before leaving in the SUV.

Hansen estimates that between 3:30 and 4:30 a.m., the Explorer was eastbound when it traveled off the highway without braking and launched off a gravel berm, flying in the air for about 25 yards before crashing down an embankment onto lava rocks.

Neither occupant is believed to have been using safety restraints, troopers said.

Jeremy Ward was cited by OSP to appear in Linn County Circuit Court on the following charges:

* Reckless Driving
* Recklessly Endangering Another Person
* Assault in the Third Degree
* Driving While Suspended
* Driving Uninsured
* Failure to Seat Belt a Child Passenger

OSP was assisted at the scene by Black Butte Police Department, Sisters -Camp Sherman Fire District, and Black Butte Fire Department.

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