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SUV crashes into Ashland fire station

Driver is charged with driving under the influence
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Police examine a Jeep Grand Cherokee after it crashed into Ashland Fire & Rescue’s Station No. 1 on Tuesday.Darla Case
 Posted: 2:00 AM March 06, 2014

A Jeep Grand Cherokee abruptly left the road, plowed through a flower bed, and sliced through a designer light pole and fire hydrant before slamming into Ashland Fire & Rescue's Station No. 1 Tuesday evening.

Ashland fire officials reported the crash at 5:35 p.m.

The driver, 65-year-old Dianna Plunk, was traveling north on Siskiyou Boulevard toward downtown when she struck the station right between the offices of Chief John Karns and Fire Division Chief Marguerite Hickman.

"She impacted the station with such a great force that it actually moved her car into a parallel parking position," said Battalion Chief Dana Sallee. "It actually had to be slid out sideways."

A lane of Siskiyou Boulevard was blocked for two hours following the crash. Both lanes had to be blocked for about 20 minutes while the car was pulled from the sidewalk and towed away.

Plunk, the car's sole occupant, was transported to Ashland Community Hospital. She was cited and released by the Ashland Police Department for driving under the influence, police said. The source of her alleged impairment is under investigation. No one else was injured in the crash.

Sallee said the damaged light pole cost about $2,500 and damage to the station could exceed $30,000. Drywall was pushed into the station's interior, and the impact left a three-foot hole that has since been covered to keep out moisture. Damage to the fire hydrant was minimal, as hydrants are built as "breakaway" units that are made to shear off if struck by a vehicle.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or

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