Oroville man dies in tragic rollover accident

LOOMIS – A 19 year-old Oroville man was killed late Saturday evening, Oct. 6, when the vehicle he was riding in rolled over an embankment near Loomis about one-half mile up Wannacut Lake road.

Justin A. Reese was fatally injured and the driver of the car and another passenger were both transported to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket, according to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers.

“It appears the vehicle was traveling up Wannacut Lake Road when the driver, Weslee R. Clough, 20, of Oroville, failed to negotiate a corner. The Dodge passenger vehicle left the roadway and rolled down the hill — rolling approximately five times,” said Sheriff Rogers.

Sheriff’s deputies, along with ambulance and fire crews from Tonasket, were dispatched at 11:55 p.m. to the scene. Reese was ejected from the vehicle and Clough was trapped underneath, according to Rogers.Amber D. Mazza, 21, the other passenger in the vehicle, which the sheriff described as “totally destroyed,” walked to a residence a quarter-mile from the accident scene and called for help from there. She was treated and released at the hospital and Clough was listed in ‘satisfactory’ condition Monday by Marcia Naillon, a hospital spokeswoman. “It appears neither Reese or Clough were wearing seatbelts and alcohol was involved in the accident,” said Rogers. “These are always tough ones to deal with …when it is young people and they are well known throughout the community.”

Reese graduated from Oroville High School in 2006 and attended Washington State University last year with a choir scholarship. He participated in several sports and was a member of the high school choir at Oroville. He was the lead in the musical Grease at the Omak Performing Arts Center in 2005.

The accident is still under investigation by the Okanogan County Sheriff’s office, which is waiting for lab work in reference to the case. As of last Monday afternoon no charges had been filed against the driver. However, the sheriff said once the accident report was finished it would be forwarded to the prosecutor for final determination on whether charges would be filed.