Police: Pedestrian's death a tragic reminder

A Talent man struck by a vehicle earlier this month while trying to cross busy South Pacific Highway has died from his injuries, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing Jason Leon McClanahan, 31, running across the highway at the intersection of Garfield Street on Nov. 2, moments before he was struck by a BMW heading south, Medford police Lt. Bob Hansen said.

McClanahan suffered devastating head injuries and was rushed to the hospital, where he was put on life support. He was taken off life support Wednesday, police said.

The driver of the 2007 BMW X5 that struck McClanahan was identified as 34-year-old Robert A. Montgomery of Danville, Calif. He was not injured in the collision and police say he was not at fault.

Crash investigators determined McClanahan was attempting to cross the street against the traffic light, Hansen said.

"We are not recommending charges against the driver at this time," Hansen said.

Hansen said the incident should raise awareness for pedestrians trying to cross busy roads.

"You need to pay attention to traffic lights, but also be aware that drivers sometimes won't see you," Hansen said. "Be aware of your surroundings and take extra care."

The case has been turned over to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for review.

In theory, the district attorney could press charges, however that's not likely in this case as the police have found substantial evidence that McClanahan was crossing the street against the traffic light.

"It happened during the busy part of the day," Hansen said. "There were several witnesses who saw it happen. They reported that (McClanahan) was crossing unlawfully."

The crash happened just before 5 p.m., which is a busy time at that intersection, Hansen said.

"This is unfortunate," Hansen said. "The pedestrian lost his life and the driver will have to live with what happened for the rest of his life even though it wasn't his fault."

Call reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.

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