PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Two serious-injury motorcycle crashes on Sunday involving deer on the highway -- one involving a Prineville man -- serve as reminders to be alert while traveling, Oregon State Police said Monday.
Around 12:25 p.m. Sunday, a motorcycle operated by Timothy Dobson, 53, of Prineville, was heading south on Highway 97 near milepost 226 in Klamath County when a deer came onto the road, troopers said.
Dobson tried to swerve and avoid the deer but struck it on the center line of the highway, OSP said.
The motorcycle fell on its side and slid off the highway, where it overturned at least once. Troopers said Dobson was seriously injured and flown to St. Charles Bend for treatment; a hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition Monday afternoon.
Later Sunday, around 8:20 p.m., an OSP trooper was dispatched to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg about a seriously injured motorcyclist being treated at the hospital.
Motorcyclist Micah B. Russell, 28, of Medford, said he was traveling along state Highway 42 when he struck a fawn deer and crashed.
OSP said a subsequent investigation confirmed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash. Russell was cited and released at the hospital for DUII-alcohol and driving with a suspended license.
The OSP reminder comes as we approach November, a month which both nationally and locally has the highest number of reported wildlife-related collisions.
OSP, ODOT and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife urge operators to be aware of the possible dangers associated with animals on or near our highways. Extra vigilance is required.
The following information may help reduce animal/vehicle incidents:
* The annual deer rut season typically lasts from late October to mid-to-late November, increasing deer activity and increasing the potential for deer to cross roads.
* During the next few months, there will be fewer daylight hours and visibility will be challenged by darkness and winter weather conditions.
* Be attentive at all times, especially sunset to sunrise for any potential hazard on or near the highway.
* When driving in areas that have special signs indicating the possible presence of animals/wildlife, please use extra caution because these signs are posted for a reason.