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Pedestrian Dies From Injuries Sustained in January 12 Crash - Highway 126E near Walterville
01/16/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-01/1002/50701/011212.hwy126e.ped.jpg
 
UPDATE (01/18/2012) - OSP confirmed the victim was carrying a white cane when struck.
 
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Oregon State Police (OSP) confirmed Monday that a blind 81-year old man died Saturday, January 14th at a Eugene-area hospital from injuries he sustained after being struck two days earlier by a vehicle on Highway 126E in the Walterville area east of Springfield. OSP troopers are continuing the investigation and no other information for release at this time.
 
On January 12, 2012 at approximately 2:55 p.m. OSP and local emergency responders were dispatched to a report that a man was struck by a vehicle on Highway 126E near Latta Lane. Preliminary investigation indicates a pedestrian identified as JOHN ROBERT CHAMBERLAIN, age 81, from Walterville, was standing on the south side highway shoulder preparing to cross to the north side.
 
As an eastbound Dodge pickup driven by JAMES L. COULSON, age 51, from Springfield, approached, CHAMBERLAIN, who is blind, reportedly began to cross the highway in front of the pickup but stepped back to the shoulder. COULSON initially slowed but when CHAMBERLAIN returned to the shoulder COULSON continued approach his location. CHAMBERLAIN then reportedly tried to cross the highway again and was struck by the pickup whose driver braked hard but was unable to avoid the collision.
 
CHAMBERLAIN was seriously injured and transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend where he was being treated until his death.
 
OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office are continuing the investigation. Lane County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, McKenzie Fire & Rescue, and ODOT assisted at the scene.
 
Highway 126E was restricted to one lane of traffic for over two hours during the investigation.