No charges will be filed in fatal bike crash

The driver in a fatal bicycle crash on Riverside Avenue in October won't face criminal charges, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office announced today.

Prosecutors found no evidence to prove Cody James Smith, 23, of Ruch, acted recklessly or was criminally negligent in the death of Gary James Tuer, 66.

Tuer, who wasn't wearing a helmet, was riding his electric bicycle northbound on Riverside Avenue just before 1 p.m. on Oct. 25. He struck a Chevrolet pickup driven by Smith and fell to the ground, hitting his head. He died later that afternoon at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Evidence collected by Medford police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department was forwarded to the district attorney's office within days of the fatal crash.

Prosecutors reviewed police, Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division and autopsy reports, District Attorney Beth Heckert said.

Conflicting witness statements place Tuer either on the eastern-most lane of Riverside Avenue or on the sidewalk along that edge of the street, today's news release from the district attorney's office said. There is no bike lane on Riverside in this area.

Tuer was described as moving at a speed similar to someone jogging and not paying attention to turning traffic, the release said.

Smith was driving his Chevrolet truck north on Riverside Avenue at a slow rate of speed and began making a right turn into Oregon Cash Company at 909 S. Riverside Ave., the release said. Tuer struck the rear passenger side of Smith's truck and was knocked to the pavement. He was taken to the hospital, but died there, officials said.

Officers and detectives found no sign that Smith was intoxicated or impaired by drugs or alcohol and no sign that he was driving recklessly.

"There is no evidence in this terrible accident supporting criminal culpability on the part of Mr. Smith," the statement from the district attorney's office said.

— Anita Burke

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