Bicyclist's death sent to DA's office for study
The Jackson County District Attorney's Office will review the death of a Medford bicyclist killed Friday after his bike struck a pickup on North Riverside Avenue.
Medford investigators will present the case to the district attorney, who will decide whether the pickup's driver Cody James Smith, 23, of the first block of Upper Applegate Road, will face criminal charges, Medford police Sgt. Josh Reimer said.
"We will turn the case over to the district attorney anytime we have a serious accident like this one," Reimer said.
The investigation determined 66-year-old Gary James Tuer struck the rear quarter panel of Smith's pickup as it turned into a business.
Tuer, of Medford, was thrown to the ground and hit his head on the pavement, knocking him out and causing a severe injury.
He was rushed to the hospital and died soon after being admitted.
An autopsy for Tuer was completed Tuesday, but Medford detectives had not received the results.
"We expect to receive the official results (this morning)," Reimer said.
No citations or charges have been issued against Smith, who was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
Reimer said it is unclear if Tuer was riding on the street or the sidewalk when his bike struck the pickup. The bike was fitted with a motorized device, but it is not know whether Tuer had it running when the crash occurred.
What is known is Tuer was not wearing a helmet when he hit the pavement. Reimer does not know if this would have saved the man's life, but he said it's a good idea for all cyclists to wear helmets while riding in traffic.
"I would advise to wear a helmet," Reimer said.
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 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.