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MailTribune.com
  • No charges will be filed in Oct. 25 fatal collision

  • The pickup truck driver in a fatal bicycle accident on Riverside Avenue in October won't face charges, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.
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  • The pickup truck driver in a fatal bicycle accident on Riverside Avenue in October won't face charges, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.
    Prosecutors found no evidence to prove that Cody James Smith, 23, of Ruch, acted recklessly or was criminally negligent in the death of bicyclist Gary James Tuer, 66.
    Tuer, who wasn't wearing a helmet, was riding his electric bicycle north on Riverside Avenue just before 1 p.m. on Oct. 25, when he struck a Chevrolet pickup driven by Smith and fell to the ground, hitting his head. He died later that afternoon at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
    Evidence collected by Medford police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department was forwarded to the district attorney's office within days of the fatal crash.
    Prosecutors reviewed reports from police, Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division and an autopsy, District Attorney Beth Heckert said.
    Conflicting witness statements place Tuer either on the eastern-most lane of Riverside Avenue or on the sidewalk along that edge of the street, the news release from the district attorney's office said. There is no bike lane on Riverside in that area.
    Tuer was described as not paying attention to turning traffic and moving at a speed similar to someone jogging, the release said.
    Smith was driving his truck north on Riverside Avenue at a slow rate of speed and began making a right turn into Oregon Cash Company at 909 S. Riverside Ave., the release said. Tuer struck the rear passenger side of Smith's truck and was knocked to the pavement. He was taken to the hospital, and died there, officials said.
    Officers and detectives found no sign that Smith was intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol and no sign that he was driving recklessly.
    "There is no evidence in this terrible accident supporting criminal culpability on the part of Mr. Smith," the statement from the district attorney's office said.
    Smith served in the U.S. Army and was shot on Feb. 17, 2011, in Afghanistan. The injury initially paralyzed him, but he has since regained the ability to walk. Community volunteers gave more than $100,000 worth of time and materials to create accessible living quarters in his childhood home in Ruch to help him work on his recovery.
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