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Car full of teens crashes in Medford, sending 3 to hospital

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A car full of students on lunch break crashed Thursday, sending three of the six teens in the car to the hospital. The sheriff's office said the injured teens were not wearing seatbelts. (JCSO)

MEDFORD, Ore. - A car full of students on lunch break crashed Thursday, sending three of the six teens in the car to the hospital.

The sheriff's office said the injured teens were not wearing seatbelts.

The crash happened just before noon, about a mile south of South Medford High School.

Deputies estimate the car was doing 35 to 40 mph when the driver lost control and crashed off an embankment, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.

"Some of the occupants initially fled from the crash, but were brought back to the scene by parents," the sheriff's office said. "Deputies identified six teens in the vehicle, ranging from 15 to 17 years of age."

The sheriff office said "one of the unrestrained passengers was sitting on the lap of another when the crash occurred."

Deputies cited the 17-year-old female driver for careless driving, endangering a child passenger, and violation of provisional license restrictions.

"Deputies say this case underscores the importance of buckling up and following the provisional license restrictions," the sheriff's office said. "Oregon law (ORS 807.122) allows licensed drivers under the age of 18 to drive unsupervised, but they must abide by specific rules. For the first six months, a newly licensed driver cannot have any passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. During the second six months, drivers are limited to three passengers under the age of 20 unless they are immediate family members. The law also sets other curfew hours and restrictions for young drivers."