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Stolen SUV found after rural wreck
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McMinnville Police Department is investigating a vehicle stolen from Myers Lane that was found teetering from a cliff Monday morning on Upper Faulkner Springs Road.
The vehicle, a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer, was reported stolen Monday morning by its owner Christopher Owens.
“He reported that he left the keys in the vehicle’s ignition Sunday night,” said Det. Todd Roland. “He said the vehicle was stolen some time that night.”
The department received a call regarding a wreck on Upper Faulkner Springs Road at approximately 9:30 a.m. Monday morning.
“The call was in regard to a vehicle that had run off the road,” said Roland. “The first report was that someone was injured and inside the vehicle. Upon arrival, no one was there. The license plate matched the tags from the vehicle that was reported stolen earlier that morning.”
The vehicle was located on a curvy section of Upper Faulkner Springs Road, between its connection with Hill Road and Bluff Springs Road, in the northern edge of the city.
Roland says speed was definitely a factor in the wreck.
“The individual was traveling outbound, crossed the center line and left the roadway,” said Roland. “They couldn’t negotiate the curve. When they left the roadway, it was impossible to correct. It definitely was a situation of drive it like you stole it. They were going too fast around the curve.”
The vehicle hit one tree and came to rest on a second tree within inches of a steep ravine.
“If the vehicle was 10 feet to the right, the individual would have been at the bottom of the ravine probably still in the vehicle,” said Roland. “Whomever it was got really lucky.”
Due to the extensive damage to the outside of the vehicle and the damage caused by an unrestrained driver, the department has notified surrounding hospitals to be on the lookout for anyone with injuries that could have been sustained in a motor vehicle accident
Anyone with information can contact McMinnville Police Department at 473-3386.