Charges have been refiled against the man accused of hitting a Talent man on a motorcycle with his pickup in what police have described as a freeway road rage incident.
A grand jury Tuesday indicted Raleigh Hugh Rodrigues, 65, of Talent, on first- and second-degree manslaughter charges in the death of 25-year-old Kevin Mayo on northbound Interstate 5 in December. The new charges were filed in Jackson County Circuit Court today, according to a legal assistant at the Jackson County District Attorney's Office and Deputy District Attorney Nick Geil.
The new filing comes more than a month after the case against Rodrigues was dismissed for procedural reasons, according to Geil.
Days after Rodrigues allegedly "rammed" his full-size Chevrolet pickup into Mayo's motorcycle south of Medford late on the afternoon of Dec. 14, Rodrigues posted 10 percent of his $250,000 bail, according to Jackson County Circuit Court records.
Geil said that because Rodrigues was out on bail, the procedural dismissal on Jan. 12 allowed Oregon State Police crash investigators to complete their investigation. They spoke with numerous witnesses who were on the freeway prior to the 4:50 p.m. crash.
"It just made more sense," Geil said of dismissing and refiling the charges.
Mayo, who'd been riding a Yamaha sport bike on northbound Interstate 5, died from his injuries at Rogue Regional Medical Center after his motorcycle struck a steel center median near Milepost 26 on the freeway. Police said Several witnesses told them they witnessed Rodrigues' vehicle "ram" Mayo's motorcycle.
In an earlier news report, Mayo's mother, Kibby Mayo of Brookings, said that investigators found Mayo's hand print on Rodrigues' truck.
Kibby Mayo has described the crash that killed her son as the beginning of a "terrible domino effect" of tragedies impacting the family. Mayo's older sister, Monique Kelley, was paralyzed in January in a car crash returning home to Bend following a trip to Southern Oregon.
Kelley was discharged from a Portland rehabilitation center Monday, and will live with her family in Brookings, according to a GoFundMe update posted by the family. As of Thursday afternoon, the family had raised $27,719 toward a $100,000 goal.
— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.