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Ashland man struck, killed on Interstate 5

PHOENIX — A man died at a Medford hospital one hour after being struck by a commercial truck on Interstate 5 as he ran into the road Monday night, Oregon State Police said.

Police reported that the man, 30-year-old Omer Zvi Aaronson, of Ashland, was struck by a northbound truck near milepost 24 just after 9 p.m. A preliminary investigation by OSP shows Aaronson ran into the middle of the freeway wearing dark clothing. A Peterbilt truck from Walgreens Inc., driven by 56-year-old Chic Lyle Erickson, of Yreka, Calif., struck Aaronson as it attempted to swerve into the left lane and miss him. The truck, which was pulling two trailers, sideswiped Aaronson with its right front fender.

Officials from OSP, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, Jackson County Fire District No. 5 and the Oregon Department of Transportation responded. The crash closed one lane for 50 minutes during the initial investigation, ODOT officials said.

Aaronson was transported to Providence Medford Medical Center, where he died about an hour later. Police said he had arrived in Ashland from Israel last week. Family members declined to comment.

No criminal charges were filed against Erickson, who was not injured in the collision.

The crash remains under investigation by OSP traffic crash specialists, who are trying to piece together why Aaronson ran into the road.

"That hasn't been determined yet," Lt. Gregg Hastings of OSP said Tuesday. "Why he was near the freeway is something that hasn't been confirmed yet either."

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.