La Pine man seriously hurt in crash identified

OSP says SUV left road, struck tree head-on in N. Klamath Co.

La PINE, Ore. - Oregon State Police on Sunday identified a 33-year-old La Pine-area man who was seriously injured Saturday afternoon when his SUV left a Northern Klamath County road and crashed head-on into a tree.

Jeffrey Rutledge was alone at the time of the crash, reported to have occurred around 1:20 p.m. in a residential area west of state Highway 31, about eight miles south of the Highway 97 junction.

Rutledge was listed in serious condition Sunday night at St. Charles-Bend.

Troopers said Rutledge's 1981 Ford Bronco driven was traveling on Birchwood Road and attempting to turn onto Sun Forest Drive when it left the road and crashed into the tree.

Rutledge was taken by Crescent Rural Fire Protection District medics to a landing site, where a Life Flight helicopter picked him up for a flight to St. Charles-Bend.

The man was not wearing his seat belt, troopers said, adding that "alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor in this crash."

OSP Senior Trooper Tim Holbrook is the lead investigator. OSP was assisted at the scene by the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, and a US Forest Service law enforcement officer.

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