Ashland Landmarks Damaged in Drunk Driving Incidents

With spring in full swing, the beginning of April has proven to be busy for the Ashland Police Department. Just over a week ago APD made arrests in two separate drunk driving accidents over the course of three days. 

The first incident happened on Saturday, April 9th at approximately 12:04 a.m. in the median park area at the south end of downtown Ashland. Police report that 24 year-old Tramon Mitchell of Medford took a corner too fast from Siskiyou Blvd. onto E. Main St. and collided with a tree that has historically been part of Ashland’s Festival of Lights event each winter.

The investigation indicated that Mitchell was traveling at a “high rate of speed” and “failed to negotiate the turn” which caused his vehicle to leave the road resulting in a collision that snapped the local landmark at its base.  

Mitchell was placed in custody and transported to Jackson County jail. He is currently facing charges of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Reckless Driving.

The second incident happened just 48 hours later on Monday, April 11th at approximately 7:46 p.m. when 31-year-old Nicoa Cline of Ashland crashed his vehicle into the Lithia Park sign at the front entrance to the park. 

APD’s investigation concluded that Cline was driving through the plaza at a high rate of speed and failed to turn on Winburn Way. His vehicle left the road, colliding with the Lithia Park sign at the front entrance of the park. Authorities added that Cline’s vehicle almost struck a person who was standing near the sign. “An off-duty law enforcement officer detained Cline, who tried to flee the scene, until APD officers arrived a short time later,” the agency reported.

Cline was taken to Jackson county jail and currently faces charges of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Reckless Driving, Hit and Run, and Criminal Mischief. 

“All members of the community are reminded to not drive under the influence of alcohol or any substances, legal or illegal,” APD said. “Doing so puts lives at risk.” 

The Ashland Police Department has made 11 DUI related arrests since the beginning of January 2022, which is an extremely high number considering it has only been four months since the new year. Not only does driving under the influence of alcohol endanger your life and the lives of those around you, being issued a DUI ticket is expensive. Depending on the severity of the offense, the ticket, fees, and fines (the damaged public property at Lithia Park would fall into this category) associated could range anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. Thankfully, with the accessibility of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft it’s more convenient than ever to get transportation wherever, whenever.

To put it into perspective, a Lyft from Medford to downtown Ashland and back would cost an average of $60, which is significantly cheaper than the $10,000 low-end cost associated with a DUI. 

Another wonderful alternative to Uber and Lyft is Village Taxi of Ashland, a dependable transportation service that serves the Ashland, Medford, and surrounding communities. Available 24/7, this taxi cab company provides “safe, honest, and reliable” transportation and can accommodate up to 6 passengers at a time. You can book a ride by calling (541) 951 0181.

The Siskiyou urges all community members to be mindful, stay safe, and plan ahead.

Leave a Reply