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Bend Doctor Dies After Century Dr. Bike Crash


Bend police said Friday they have completed their investigation of a fatal bike crash last week on Century Drive and found no evidence pointing to anything but “a really tragic accident” claiming the life of Dr. Virginia (Ginny) Lee Vader, a Bend pathologist for the past 10 years.

Police and fire medics responded around 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12th to the reported bike crash on Century Drive, south of the Reed Market Road roundabout, said Sgt. Brian Beekman.

Beekman said Vader, 60, was riding in the northbound bike lane when she crashed.

The cause of the crash could not be determined,, the sergeant said, but witnesses at the scene indicated no other vehicle or pedestrian traffic in the area contributed to it.

Vader, who was wearing a helmet at the time, received significant injuries from the crash and was taken by Bend Fire ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, where she died five days later, according to information posted on the family’s Caring Bridge Website.

The sergeant said it initially appeared the injuries were not life-threatening. After the woman passed away, police investigated further to see if there had been any pre-existing medical condition or other issues, working with the county medical examiner and talking with the woman’s family and friends in town at the time.

“We feel pretty confident there were just significant injuries related to the crash, and that caused the fatality,” Beekman said, adding that they found no evidence of alcohol involvement, “no obvious problems with the roadway, no obvious problems with the bike. It looks to us like a really tragic accident.”

Lisa Smith, who worked with Vader for the past 10 years at Central Oregon Pathology Consultants, said Friday she “was an amazing and lovely woman, and will be deeply missed.”

According to the Caring Bridge Website, Vader “thrived on challenge and adventure in all areas of life. … She loved the outdoors and spent much leisure time hiking, mountain biking and skiing.”

The Michigan native first became a veterinarian and set up practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the family statement said, “but her love and care for animals were gradually overtaken by her love and care for her fellow human beings,” leading her back to school to become an MD.

The family said memorial contributions may be made to the St. Charles Foundation, “Cancer Center,” designated in Virginia’s name: or by mail: St. Charles Foundation, 2500 NE Neff Road, Bend, OR, 97701 541-706-6996.

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