JEFFERSON, Ore. – One man died and two others were injured in a high-speed crash near Jefferson Saturday night.
Don Dotter, Jr. said he heard the car's engine screaming as it flew over the hill right in front of his house.
"And I heard 'boom! bang!' And I saw a big cloud of dust and a big tire flying through it," said Dotter. "I got up there and asked the guy in the back, I go 'what happened?' (He) said 'we were going too fast.'"
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said 19-year-old Nicolas J. Jolly of Jefferson was driving a Honda Civic on Valley View Road Southeast near Duck Flat Road when he lost control. The car left the road and hit a power pole, breaking the car in half. Deputies found the two sections of the car about 100 feet apart when they arrived at the scene just before 9 p.m.
Jolly died at the scene.
The passengers, 19-year-old Douglass Curtiss and 19-year-old Juan Barrera, told deputies Jolly was driving between 90 and 100 mph before the crash. Curtiss had minor injuries, but Barrera’s injuries were more serious. He was taken to a Salem hospital, where he released a statement Sunday afternoon.
"Nicolas Jolly was a good kid, a good friend and a great student. My thoughts are now for his family. I am doing okay. Doctors plan to monitor my condition day to day. I am sorry this happened. Everyone should learn a lesson from this crash. It's not all fun and games. Bad things can happen. It doesn't matter who you are. I want people out there to not make the same mistake," Barrera said.
Deputies said all three men were wearing seat belts, but the driver’s airbag was still in the steering wheel that separated from the back half of the car on impact.
Curtiss and Barrera told deputies that the three decided to go for a joyride on Valley View Road. They called the road “roller coaster hill” because of its hills and valleys. The two men said Jolly “caught air” on one of the hills, lost control of the car and hit the power pole.
On Sunday, Jolly's family and friends left flowers at the crash site.
"Definitely a mistake," said Dusty Epps. "I mean, he was probably just trying to have fun too, and just got out of control."
"Nick's definitely not a bad driver either," said Taylor Garofano. "He was always the safe driver of the bunch, to be honest."
Neighbors along Valley View Road told KATU they've seen numerous crashes on that stretch of road.
"I've came down here over the years and seen many accidents," said Dotter. "It's really sad, really sad."