The Douglas County Major Crimes Team is continuing the investigation into Tuesday morning’s incident on HWY 101 about 2 miles south of Reedsport near Winchester Bay.
At around 9am a green 2003 Subaru station wagon was southbound on HWY 101 and passed a school bus which was not carrying passengers. The Subaru is believed to have been the subject of multiple driving complaints to area dispatch centers around the same time. Within a mile or two of being passed the bus driver spotted the Subaru which was now on fire in the southbound travel lane two miles south of Reedsport. The driver stopped to render aid but as the bus driver approached with a fire extinguisher he saw the driver had a handgun. The bus driver backed away from the Subaru and called 9-1-1.
A short time later, an off-duty investigator from the Oregon Department of Justice stopped to assist and also approached the subject in the Subaru. Moments later, an officer from the Reedsport Police Department and two Douglas County Sheriffs Deputies arrived and contacted the subject. At some point during the contact the Reedsport Police Officer fired at the operator of the Subaru; striking and critically injuring him. The driver was transported by ambulance to Lower Umpqua Hospital in Reedsport.
Officers at the scene reported hearing small explosions as the vehicle burned and summoned the OSP Explosives Unit for assistance. In the meantime, traffic was detoured around the scene. After a quick review explosives experts said the small explosions were likely from aerosol cans and possibly ammunition – not incendiary devices. OSP Arson detectives are assisting with the investigation into the fire.
Name of the officer and the driver have not yet been released.