Teen in critical condition after skateboard accident

ASHLAND — A Southern Oregon University student was in critical condition after apparently falling from a skateboard early Thursday morning, Ashland police reported.

Police and Ashland Fire & Rescue responded to the intersection of North Mountain Avenue and Larkspur Lane at about 2:15 a.m. after callers reported a man lying in the middle of the street. He was unconscious and appeared to have struck his head on the ground, police said.

Police identified him as Simon Brooks, 19, of Ashland. The initial investigation indicates Brooks suffered a serious head injury after he fell from his skateboard. He was northbound on North Mountain Avenue on his skateboard before the accident occurred and was not wearing a helmet.

Deputy Chief Corey Falls said Brooks rode down a steep section of the street, leaving behind a friend who decided not to ride down the hill and was walking behind him. Brooks' friend heard him fall and rushed down the hill to find Brooks at the bottom with a head injury, said Falls. No motor vehicles are believed to have played a role in the accident, police said.

An ambulance took Brooks to Providence Medford Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

Two Ashland skaters have died of head injuries in recent years.

Evan Burke, 21, died March 6, 2005, of injuries suffered when a car hit him while he was skateboarding near the intersection of Mountain Avenue and Siskiyou Boulevard. In June 2010, 26-year-old Jesse Brandsen, of Ashland, died of head injuries suffered in a skateboarding accident on Faith Avenue. Neither was wearing a helmet.

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