Cave Junction: Response Time in Deadly Crash Raising Concerns

, Written by RaeAnn Christensen, Posted: Mon, October 14 2013 at 9:05 PM, Updated: Mon, October 14 2013 at 9:13 PM

Jean Beard woke up in the early morning hours on Sunday, October 6th.

She says "saw all the flashing lights we didn't hear the accident cause we were asleep."

In her front yard, the body of 64-year-old Steven Rubins was found.

"They said he was laying there from 1130 when the wreck happened till 3 o'clock that's awful," Beard says.

Oregon State Police say Rubins was driving southbound on Caves Highway when he lost control around a curve and drove off the road.

The SUV rolled and Rubins was ejected about 60 feet from where the vehicle was found.

"There's wrecks here all the time, this is the first ones that's been fatal," Beard says.

A nearby resident heard the crash, went to investigate, and called 911.

OSP says the man told them it was very dark, but the vehicle was on its wheels and he couldn't see anyone around the SUV.

No ambulance, fire truck, deputy or trooper arrived here on the scene for more than two hours.

OSP released a statement saying in part.

"Our department is in the midst of an internal review of how the call was handled by our trooper and involved dispatched personnel. No employees have been placed on any modified duty status at this time subject to the internal review."

Jean Beard along with other residents are concerned with the lack of presence of law enforcement.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office has been gutted by lack of funding and had no patrol deputies on duty at the time of the crash.

Beard says "we don't have law enforcement, really."

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says he would have responded if he had been called.

But says OSP would normally handle such an incident because it happened on a state highway.

Oregon State Police did say that an autopsy revealed Rubins injuries from being ejected did kill him instantly.

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About the Author

RaeAnn Christensen

NBC 5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster RaeAnn Christensen earned a Bachelors degree from Weber State University, majoring in Communications and Broadcast Journalism.

RaeAnn started her career as a Producer for two local stations where she grew up in Utah. Working for the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, she won local awards for producing, and also became an Emmy award winning producer.

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