Medford man hurt in motorcycle accident

A Medford man was critically injured Sunday afternoon when his motorcycle collided with a sport utility vehicle on southbound Interstate 5 just south of the Brownsville interchange near Eugene, according to Oregon State Police.

Richard R. Graybeal, 76, of Medford, suffered injuries despite wearing a helmet. He was transported by REACH Air to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, where he remained in critical condition late Sunday.

The accident happened at about 12:35 p.m. when a 1987 Jeep Cherokee driven by Thomas C. Olson, 52, of Redding, Calif., was headed south in the right-hand lane on Interstate 5 near Milepost 216 just behind Graybeal's 1996 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle, said OSP Recruit Trooper Tiffany Makin.

As the Olson moved into the left lane to pass the motorcycle, the motorcycle simultaneously moved into the same lane and collided with the rear of the Jeep.

The motorcycle and Graybeal tumbled onto the freeway and slid nearly 300 feet before coming to a stop on the right southbound shoulder.

Olson and his two male passengers, ages 14 and 15, were not injured. They wore using seatbelts. The southbound freeway was closed for more than an hour.

OSP troopers from the Albany Area Command continued to investigate the accident late Sunday.

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