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Police release names from fatal bike crash

Medford police have released the names of the bicyclist and driver involved in a fatal collision Friday afternoon on Riverside Avenue.

Gary James Tuer, 66, of the 100 block of Cottage Street, Medford, died after hitting a white 2012 Chevrolet pickup driven by Cody James Smith, 23, of the first block of Upper Applegate Road, Jacksonville.

Tuer was riding northbound on Riverside Avenue at about 1 p.m. Friday when Smith, entering a business driveway, made a right turn in front of him. Tuer hit the side of the truck and fell to the ground, striking his head on the pavement. He wasn't wearing a helmet and sustained a serious head injury. He died about an hour later at Rogue Regional Medical Center.

An autopsy will be conducted later this week. After the autopsy, the case will be presented to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for possible charges.

Budreau said the investigation indicates Smith's turn was a traffic violation and the cause of the crash. Because he wasn't being reckless, however, the case might not merit criminal charges. Police said there is no evidence Smith was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Smith is a 2009 graduate of South Medford High School, where he was an all-conference guard on the football team. He served in the Army and was shot on Feb. 17, 2011, in Afghanistan. Community volunteers gave more than $100,000 worth of time and materials to create accessible living quarters in his childhood home in Ruch where he could work on his recovery.

— Anita Burke