Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Thu, April 10 2014 at 6:46 PM, Updated: Thu, April 10 2014 at 8:19 PM
Ashland, Ore. -- Ashland police are investigating a single vehicle crash that killed 33 year-old Salvatore Pippa and injured his passenger Christine Kuehu Wednesday night.
Police said Pippa took the left hand turn off Siskiyou Boulevard onto Ashland Avenue too fast at 10:30 p.m. He lost control and hit a power pole.
Pippa died at the scene. Kuehu was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.
The accident shut down the busy intersection, several streets, and knocked out power in nearby neighborhoods.
One witness, SOU student Dave Scott, lives in the dorms across the street. He said he heard the crash before he saw it.
"The first thing I heard was brakes, or what sounded like brakes, and what I assumed was the pole shattering and then I saw a huge light of explosion," Scott said.
Then, he said, everything went dark. Students filed out of the dorms with flashlights and cell phones and lined the streets.
"I couldn't see the car or what was left of the car because it was so dark," Scott said.
He said it wasn't until the firefighters put up their flood light that he could see the damage.
"The car looked like an accordion," Scott said.
Ashland Police Chief, Terry Holderness, believes Pippa was drinking earlier Wednesday, but says police are waiting on toxicology tests to determine if it played a role in the accident.
NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.
She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.
She loves skiing and live concerts!