Driver cleared in traffic fatality

ROGUE RIVER — The driver in a pedestrian fatality that occurred last week on East Main Street has been found blameless.

Jack Arnold Smith, 86, of Rogue River, was struck and killed by a rental truck as he crossed Main at Pioneer Court at about 10 a.m. Thursday.

According to City Police Chief Ken Lewis, John H. Robinson Sr., 59, of Roseburg, had just made a delivery to the Morrow Heights assisted living center at 176 Wards Creek Road, and was driving the truck west on Main Street.

"He said he was going the speed limit (20 mph), possibly under. It was driving rain," Lewis said. "He didn't see anyone ahead of him in the road."

Robinson's wife, who was riding with him, suddenly spotted Smith in front of them and yelled, "Look out!"

"With no time to react, they felt the impact," Lewis said. "They stopped, got out and found him lying in the roadway. Three or four witnesses said he was slightly outside of it (the crosswalk). One thought he was in the crosswalk. But no one saw him look behind him or to his left, the direction from which the truck was coming. It appears he basically walked out in front of the truck."

Smith also was wearing dark clothing and he was hunched over. Add the bad weather and "everything just kind of, unfortunately, came together," Lewis said.

"There was no indication of alcohol or drug use," but family said Smith had many health issues, according to Lewis.

Smith died at the scene.

An accident reconstruction team from the Jackson County Sheriff's Department is assisting city police in the investigation.

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