Family, friends mourn loss of Medford man after tragic death

MEDFORD, Ore. —A Medford family is mourning after a young father of three was hit and killed by a driver on I-5. Now, the community is rallying together to support the family, while honoring his memory.

Early Monday morning, 34-year-old Medford man Zachary Mitchell and his family were driving on I-5 northbound in Tehama County. They were coming home from a funeral in Apple Valley, California.

Mitchell already driving a 10-hour stretch decided to pull over to let his fiancée Lacey Mobley take over the wheel, according to family friend Shawnee Anderson.

“She was putting on her shoes and she was going around to switch drivers and a Prius was speeding down the road, clearly he didn’t see him standing on the side of the road but he hit him,” said Anderson

California Highway Patrol says a 55-year-old from the Dalles was driving the car. Mitchell died on impact.

“It was a tragic accident that happened right in front of the kids and Lacey,” said Anderson.

According to the CHP report, alcohol wasn’t a factor in the crash. It was not a hit-and-run and no arrests have been made.

“After everything, she still had to get back in the car and drive her babies back up to Oregon the last of the trip so absolutely horrendous, super tragic accident,” said Anderson.

Mitchell leaves behind 3 children and his fiancée Lacey with whom his legacy will live on.

“He was just a fun-loving guy, super goofy he was always smiling and being silly with the kids, he had really good energy a super good dad a great guy,” said Anderson.

Anderson says the family wants to raise awareness about the danger of the area where the crash occurred, calling it a blind corner. She says multiple accidents have happened in the same spot.

The family has set up a GoFundMe* account to support the family.

*KOBI-TV NBC5 does not guarantee money deposited to this account will be applied for the benefit of the person or persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering making a donation, you should consult your own advisors, and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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