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Three motorcyclists injured in crash north of La Pine


Three motorcyclists were injured, one seriously, when they crashed and were thrown from their bikes on a curving section of Huntington Road north of La Pine Sunday morning, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

Deputies and La Pine Fire medics responded around 11:20 a.m. to the reported crash of several motorcycles on Huntington Road near Velvet Court.

Arriving deputies determined there were three motorcycles and operators involved, but no passengers, deputies said.

An investigation determined that Kenneth Gipson, 56, of Culver; Joseph Curci, 59, of Terrebonne; and Philip Emmitt, 67, of Redmond, were traveling together, heading south on their Harley-Davidson motorcycles, planning to meet at a La Pine business, deputies said.

As the motorcycles entered a section of curves, the three drivers failed to negotiate a corner and left Huntington Road.

Gipson’s 1998 Harley FLF struck some rocks and a fence line bordering a property on Huntington Road. Curci’s 2008 Harley STC also hit the rocks, but came to rest before the fence. Emmitt’s 2010 Harley FTU became stuck in the soft dirt shoulder.

Gipson was flown to St. Charles Bend, where he remained in serious condition Monday, a spokeswoman said. The other two men were taken by ambulance to the Bend hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said.

“Speed is believed to have been a contributing factor in the crash,” the sheriff’s office news release stated, adding that “there is no suspicion of alcohol involvement.”

All three operators were were wearing helmets and appropriate safety gear, deputies added.

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