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Ashland mountain biker's death ruled accidental

The death of an Ashland man who was killed while mountain biking on a trail west of the city Monday has been ruled accidental.

John Edward Thomas, Jr., 66, lost control of his mountain bike while negotiating a dip on the Hitt Road Trail, then crashed and sustained "significant head trauma," according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department. He was wearing a helmet.

Police described Thomas as an experienced cyclist who was familiar with the trail, which is a popular thoroughfare for hikers and mountain bikers.

Emergency dispatch received a 911 call at 12:51 p.m. after a hiker found Thomas and his bicycle on the ground about two miles south of Strawberry Lane. Sheriff's department deputies, Ashland police, Jackson County Search & Rescue volunteers and Ashland Fire & Rescue Crews responded to the scene.

Correction: Thomas was 66 years old, according to his wife.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office released this photo of the trail section where a mountain biker crashed Monday.