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Central Point motorcyclist killed

A Central Point man was killed Thursday afternoon when he was thrown from his motorcycle after slamming into the back end of a pickup truck that was about to turn into the parking lot of a busy convenience store.

Medford police identified the motorcyclist as Kurt Michael Oldland, 22. At about 3:45 p.m., Oldland rear-ended a Ford Ranger pickup truck that was preparing to make a left turn into a Minute Market parking lot on the 2500 block of Table Rock Road, Medford police Lt. Tim George said.

Medics from the Medford fire department pronounced Oldland dead at the scene, George said.

The collision caused Oldland to be thrown from his Yamaha motorcycle and onto the pavement, said Joleen Appleton, who witnessed the accident from the Minute Market.

He hit the back of that truck so hard, and did a full end-o, Appleton, of Medford, said. It was just awful. I could have lived a million years without having to see that.

— Appleton went to the convenience store on her own motorcycle to get a drink. She said witnessing the collision was a reality check for her.

I'm already careful, but from now on I'm going to be really careful, Appleton said.

The pickup driver, Michael David Galbraith, 42, of Medford, was interviewed Thursday by police, then released. George said police took the pickup and the motorcycle to a city impound yard, where a team of investigators will work to try to determine how exactly the collision occurred. The accident left Galbraith's pickup with a large dent to its tailgate.

While still at the crash scene, police taped off a section of Table Rock Road, leaving the pickup and motorcycle in the roadway while officers interviewed witnesses and conducted a preliminary investigation of the wreck.

Dozens of people in the neighborhood came outside to see what all the activity was about. Several times during the hour following the wreck, Minute Market employees asked children and others who had gathered in the parking lot to clear the area.

Police diverted traffic onto Merriman and Midway roads while they investigated the crash.

Truck tips over, stalls I-5 traffic

Traffic on northbound Interstate 5 was backed up for three miles Thursday morning after a Toyota Tacoma pickup hauling a travel trailer overturned north of Gold Hill, blocking both lanes of the freeway for nearly two hours.

No one was injured in the 8:15 a.m. accident, which occurred at milepost 41, said Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Blain Allen.

Allen said a gust of wind might have caused the pickup to tip over. It didn't help that the travel trailer was 22 feet long.

He had too much trailer for that type of pickup, I think, Allen said. You need a full-size pickup for that.

The truck and trailer blocked both lanes. Allen said traffic backed up to milepost 38, near the top of Blackwell Hill. Both lanes were reopened by 10 a.m., Allen said.

The name of the driver was not available, Allen said.

Jacksonville man identified in fatal crash A Medford woman remained hospitalized Thursday with critical injuries sustained in a car wreck that killed a Jacksonville man on Wednesday night.

Police on Thursday said Chance James Ricks, 30, of Jacksonville, died in the accident on Jacksonville Highway.

Ricks was driving a 1994 Mazda 929 west on the highway near Hanley Road at about 10:40 p.m. Wednesday and was unable to negotiate a curve, Jackson County sheriff's Capt. Joe Puckett said in a news release.

The Mazda left the road and rolled several times, ejecting Ricks and a front-seat passenger, Daphne Juliana Burr, 23, of Medford. Neither were wearing seatbelts, Puckett said.

Ricks was pronounced dead at the scene. The car ended up at least 50 feet off the road.

Burr was in critical condition Thursday at Rogue Valley Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Another passenger, Jennifer Kay Stoll, 25, of Grants Pass, was in stable condition. Stoll was wearing a seatbelt and was not ejected, Puckett said.

Sheriff's investigators believe excessive speed was a factor in the accident. The county's deputy medical examiner is assisting with the investigation

Body discovered along Interstate 5 GRANTS PASS ' Police don't know what killed a man whose body was discovered Thursday morning in a field near Interstate 5.

An anonymous caller phoned police at about 11 a.m. Thursday to report finding a man's body in a field east of Agness Avenue, Grants Pass police Sgt. Rob Gunderson said in a news release.

The cause of the man's death was not determined, police said.

He is described as being a 45-year-old white male, about 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.

Police believe the man is a transient who was last seen alive about two weeks ago.

A medical examiner is investigating the cause of death.