Bend man dies of dirt-bike crash injuries

Struck fallen tree on forest road near La Pine

La PINE, Ore. - A 69-year-old Bend man has died of injuries suffered Sunday afternoon when his dirt bike struck a downed tree and he was thrown on Forest Service northeast of La Pine, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said.

Ernest Gerloff died Tuesday at St. Charles Bend of injuries suffered in the crash, said Sgt. Don Manning. He had been flown to the Bend hospital by Air Link helicopter shortly after the crash.

Sheriff's deputies, Forest Service law enforcement officers, a Bureau of Land Management ranger and La Pine and Sunriver fire medics were dispatched around 4:30 p.m. Sunday to the area of Forest Service Road 9725, between spur roads 400 and 700, Manning said.

An initial investigation determined Gerloff was riding dirt bikes with several friends when, for an unknown reason, his blue and white Husqvarna dirt bike hit a downed tree and crashed, throwing him to the ground, Manning said.

Several friends found Gerloff and began life-saving efforts, including CPR, later assisted by the BLM ranger and Forest Service officers, Manning said.

La Pine medics arrived and took over the life-saving efforts before his trip to the hospital. Manning said Gerloff was wearing a helmet and other protective gear.

With the investigation continuing, witnesses to the crash are being asked to contact the sheriff's office at (541) 693-6911.

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