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Update: Fatal Traffic Crash Investigation - Highway 58 west of Oakridge
10/01/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

An autopsy was done Tuesday by Dr. Dan Davis of the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office in Eugene on a motorcycle operator who died when he crashed while attempting to elude Oakridge police on Highway 58 near their city.
 
The autopsy revealed that ERIC BRACKEN TYNER, age 32, from Bend, died from multiple blunt force injuries related to the incident. Dr. Davis determined from scene photos and some of the injuries that the deceased impacted the guardrail with sufficient force for that event to have caused his death alone. However, Dr. Davis could not confirm that all of the fatal injuries were specifically from impact with the guardrail alone or in combination with injuries likely sustained when he was run over by a patrol vehicle.
 
TYNER died when he was involved in the crash on September 28, 2008 at approximately 7:00 p.m. as he attempted to elude Oakridge police westbound on Highway 58 near milepost 28. The motorcycle operated by TYNER was seen earlier by a Lane County Sheriff's Office deputy traveling westbound east of Oakridge near milepost 58 at about 90 mph. The deputy was unable to catch up to the motorcycle to stop it and lost sight of it. Information was relayed to local police agencies to be on the lookout for the motorcycle.

 
At approximately 7:00 p.m. an Oakridge police officer spotted a motorcycle entering the east end of Oakridge near milepost 36 and attempted to stop it for a lane change violation. The motorcycle again quickly accelerated to a high rate of speed westbound on Highway 58 from Crestview Street. Oakridge Police Officer Zechariah Ames was approaching on Crestview Street and moved into position behind the first Oakridge officer who was in an unmarked patrol car.

 
Officer Ames was in a marked police car and moved into the lead position ahead of the unmarked police car. As the motorcycle reportedly continued driving at a high rate of speed in a reckless manner westbound, it approached a curve near milepost 28 at an extremely high rate of speed. Due to the excessive speed the motorcycle collided with a guardrail ejecting the operator onto the roadway. Officer Ames was unable to avoid the motorcycle operator lying in the roadway and struck him.
 
Oregon State Police troopers from the Springfield and Oakridge offices are continuing the investigation.
 
Anyone witnesses to the incident that have not given a statement to investigators is asked to call OSP Senior Trooper Blaine Hlebechuk at (541) 726-2536 ext. 413.