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Driver and passenger of Jeep Wrangler ejected from vehicle after hitting power pole and rolling several times

PHOTO COURTESY CROOK COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Prineville men Eli Cromwell and Blake Murray were ejected from this Jeep Wrangler following a crash on Northwest Gerke Road late Monday night.

Two local men were seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash north of Prineville Monday night.

According to authorities, Crook County deputies responded to the crash scene on Northwest Gerke Road near Country Loop, about 6 miles outside of Prineville, around 10:20 p.m. Upon arriving, they found a black Jeep Wrangler resting upright in a field approximately 30 yards off the north side of Gerke Road. The Jeep had sustained major damage and appeared to have rolled several times.

Both the driver, 30-year-old Eli Cromwell of Prineville, and the passenger, 37-year-old Prineville man Blake Murray, were ejected from the vehicle. They both sustained major injuries and were consequently airlifted to St. Charles Hospital in Bend.

Authorities determined that the Jeep had been heading eastbound on Gerke Road when Cromwell failed to negotiate a right-hand corner. The jeep left the roadway, crashed through a Pacific Power pole, and then rolled several times out into a field where both occupants were ejected.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the accident.

The Crook County Sheriff's Office was assisted at the scene by the Crook County Fire Rescue, Prineville Police Department, and the Oregon State Police. An investigation is ongoing and no further information has been released.

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