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Apr-19-2009 17:39printcomments

Motorcyclist Seriously Hurt in I-5 Freeway Crash

The man was transported to the hospital by helicopter.

Crash investigation
Salem-News.com

(EUGENE, Ore.) - Police say a Medford-area man was seriously injured Sunday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a sport utility vehicle southbound Interstate 5 just south of the Brownsville interchange.

According to Oregon State Police Recruit Trooper Tiffany Makin, Sunday at approximately 12:35 p.m. a 1987 Jeep Cherokee driven by 52-year old Thomas C. Olson of Redding, California was southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 216 in the right hand lane following a 1996 Honda Goldwing motorcycle operated by 76-year old richard R. Graybeal of Medford.

"As the Jeep moved into the left lane to begin passing the motorcycle, the motorcycle also began to change lanes and collided with the right rear quarter panel of the Jeep," Makin said.

After impact, Makin says the motorcycle and Graybeal both fell onto the freeway and traveled nearly 300 feet before coming to a stop on the right southbound shoulder.

Olson was able to drive the Jeep to a stop on the same highway shoulder just south of the downed motorcycle and operator.

Graybeal was wearing a crash helmet and was seriously injured, Makin said.

"REACH Air ambulance responded to the scene and the southbound lanes were closed about one hour. Graybeal was transported by air to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield."

She says Olson and his two male passengers, ages 14 and 15, were not injured. They were using safety restraints.

Makin says OSP troopers from the Albany Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Halsey Fire Department and ODOT assisted at the scene.

One lane was re-opened about 2:00 p.m. and both southbound lanes opened by 2:30 p.m.




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