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Motorcycle crashes claim two

Motorcycle crashes claim two

SHADY COVE ' A motorcyclist riding to Crater Lake for charity was killed Saturday when a car hit his bike. The wreck closed Highway 62 for several hours and ended the biker run, a fund raiser for Head Start.

It was the second fatal motorcycle crash of the weekend.

In the wreck on Highway 62, David Tabor of Rogue River died after being struck by a Mazda two-door. Driven by 28-year-old Reagan DeShane of Shady Cove, the car rounded a corner too fast, skidded on gravel and swung into the oncoming lane, said Oregon State Police trooper Bill Matson. Tabor, 54, was dead when emergency medical workers arrived, Matson said.

Its back end pointed into northbound oncoming traffic, the Mazda also smashed into a motorcycle driven by Dennis Vittaco, 57, of Rogue River. His wife, 50-year-old Sharon Vittaco was riding as a passenger.

The Vittacos were taken by helicopter to Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, State Police said. Nursing staff listed Dennis Vittaco in serious condition. His wife underwent surgery late Saturday, and her condition was not available.

— A third motorcyclist, 20-year-old Maggie James of Central Point, was hit but not injured.

Neither Deshane nor her passenger, 32-year-old Paul Rexius of Medford, were injured. Both were wearing seatbelts.

The 9:45 a.m. crash closed Highway 62 approximately seven miles north of Shady Cove near Elk Creek campground for several hours, Matson said. Traffic was rerouted over an 8-mile stretch of Crowfoot Road, said a dispatcher for the Oregon Department of Transportation. The highway was cleared at 4 p.m., ODOT reported.

One stranded motorist suffered a heart attack in his car as he waited for traffic to start moving, said Capt. John Burns of Jackson County Fire District No. 4. The man was flown to ahospital by helicopter, Burns said. His name was not available.

Saturday's motorcycle run from Naumes Equipment in Medford to Crater Lake aimed to raise money for books at localHeadstart programs, Matson said. Troopers are still investigating the crash. Criminal charges may be pending against Deshane, Matson said, but alcohol did not appear to play a role.

Another motorcycle crash near Talent Friday night killed an Ashland man.

Paul Vincent Slowikowski, 45, missed a curve in the 1900 block of Talent Avenue, ran off the road and was thrown from his Kawasaki 250 motorcycle around 11:20 p.m. Slowikowski, of the 1300 block of Frank Hill Road, died at the scene, said Capt. Joe Puckett of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

The case was referred to the county medical examiner's office for further investigation.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail .