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Fiery DUI Crash on S. Oregon Coast Illustrates Importance of Dune Safety, Sobriety

Published 09/11/23 at 8:27 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Fiery DUI Crash on S. Oregon Coast Illustrates Importance of Dune Safety, Sobriety

(Coos Bay, Oregon) – The high-density holiday weekend on the Oregon coast often yields at least one tragedy or another, but some can definitely be avoided. (Photo Coos County Sheriff's)

Case in point: September 2 saw a fiery crash on the Oregon Dune National Recreation Area (ODNRA) near Coos Bay, after a side-by-side ATV plowed nose-first into a steep sand dune. Coos County Sheriff's office believed the driver to be drunk, causing injuries to himself and the unnamed passenger.

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No other vehicles were involved.

On September 2, Coos County Dispatch received a 911 call about 7:25 p.m., reporting an ATV on fire at the Hauser Flat area. Hauser Fire Department was already on the scene when Coos County Deputy MR Smith arrived 7:34 p.m., and the flames were extinguished by this time.

At this point, the passenger of the vehicle was already en route to the Bay Area Hospital (BAH) with what the Coos County Sheriff's office called “significant injuries.” The driver, 43-year-old Jamison Ellis, was also transported to the hospital.

“During the investigation, Deputy Smith learned that Mr. Ellis was seen driving erratically around Hauser Flats and V6 Hill,” said Coos County Sheriff Gabe Fabrizio. “Mr. Ellis was seen doing this with a passenger and had reached estimated speeds of 65-70 mph while driving over V6 Hill. The vehicle cleared a large distance before slamming nose-first into a flat portion of Hauser Flat and catching fire.”

A variety of witnesses came to the rescue of the crashed vehicle, and in spite of the fire, slowly extricated the passenger who was trapped in the side-by-side.

At the hospital, Deputy Smith's investigation revealed Ellis was allegedly intoxicated, Fabrezio said.

“Deputy Smith provided Mr. Ellis with a criminal citation for DUII. Still, the final charging determination will be made by the Coos County District Attorney’s Office and could include additional charges,” Fabrezio said.

Fabrezio thanked the Hauser Fire Department for a quick response and all the good samaritans for rendering assistance.

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Photos above courtesy Florence Visitors Center. Below: photos courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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