Two men hospitalized after being hit by car

Two men remain in the hospital with life-threatening injuries after being struck by an allegedly intoxicated driver as they crossed a west Medford street Saturday night, police reported Tuesday.

Benjamin Grant Thurman, 32, of the 700 block of West Second Street in Medford, is held in the Jackson County Jail on two charges of third-degree assault, along with additional charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving. He remained in the jail Tuesday on $57,000 bail.

Juan Lopez-Florez, 29, and Rogelio Avalos, 33, were both transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. Authorities said they had sustained significant injuries.

"They were extensive," said Medford police Detective Sgt. Brent Mak. "We're talking broken limbs."

Rogue Regional officials said the two men were listed in serious condition Tuesday.

Police said Thurman was driving north on Columbus Avenue near the Prune Street intersection after 8 p.m. when he struck Lopez-Florez and Avalos, who were trying to cross Columbus at the crosswalk. Thurman remained on the scene while Medford police, Medford Fire-Rescue and Mercy Flights responded.

Police took Thurman to their department where they conducted field sobriety tests, authorities said. They said he was found to be intoxicated and booked in the jail. The case remains under investigation.

Police officials said incidents like Saturday's are not any more prevalent at the Columbus-Prune intersection than other areas with similar designated crosswalks.

"It's a marked crosswalk in the middle of a fairly busy street, but I don't think we've had a higher number," Mak said.

Thurman does not appear to have any significant criminal history in Jackson County, court records show.

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