Motorcyclist unhurt, but bike was totaled

MEDFORD — A burning motorcycle blocked traffic on the Barnett Road overpass over Interstate 5 for about an hour Wednesday morning.

The motorcycle, a 1980 Harley-Davidson FLH Police Special, was destroyed, but no one was injured.

Medford police and fire departments were called to the crash near the intersection of Barnett Road and Stewart Avenue about 9:55 a.m.

Motorcycle rider Wayne McIntosh said a woman in a car hit his bike. When it toppled to the pavement, gas spilled onto the hot engine and caught fire, sending up a pillar of black smoke that could be seen from the freeway. The flames consumed the motorcycle, including the tires. As one tire burned, it reignited fuel floating on water used in the initial attack on the fire, said Ron Nelson, on-duty battalion chief for Medford Fire & Rescue.

The department had two engines at the scene as crews battled the persistent flames with water and dry-chemical fire extinguishers, while keeping the contaminated water from storm drains that carry water into Bear Creek, Nelson said. A quick response team from the city's public works department also responded to help with the cleanup.

Only one lane of Barnett remained open while crews worked to douse the fire and corral the fuel-contaminated water. Crews cleared from the scene shortly after 11 a.m.

McIntosh, sporting a bandage on his hand, said he was fine, but upset about the loss of his bike.

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