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Bend man arrested on drugged driving, manslaughter charges in fatal SUV-motorcycle crash; victim identified

Hwy. 20 closed crash
ODOT TripCheck
Bend Police said Highway 20 would be closed for several hours for investigation of fatal crash Thursday afternoon

(Update: Driver formally charged, identified)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 46-year-old Bend man was arrested on drugged and reckless driving and manslaughter charges Thursday after police said he made an illegal left turn out of a northeast Bend apartment complex and collided with a motorcycle on Highway 20, killing the rider.

The victim of the crash reported around 1 p.m. was identified as Chad Jeremy Bernhardt, 48, of Bend, Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.

A preliminary crash investigation determined that the driver of a green GMC Envoy, Kyle Lamont Cofer, attempted to make an illegal left turn out of the Stonebriar Apartments to turn westbound onto Highway 20 when he collided with Bernhardt’s eastbound motorcycle. He died at the scene.

Miller said Cofer was arrested on suspicion of DUII–drugs, second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and reckless endangering and was booked into the Deschutes County Jail.

Cofer was arraigned Friday on a felony manslaughter second-degree murder charge and Class A misdemeanor charges of DUII and reckless driving, jail records show.

The highway was closed in both directions during the investigation, reopening around 4:20 p.m. ODOT assisted Bend Police with road closures and detours.

When officers arrived, they found the motorcycle rider trapped under the vehicle. Bernhardt died at the scene, Miller said. She said Cofer remained on scene and cooperated with officers.

Highway 20 was closed between Northeast 27th Street and the Ward/Hamby Road roundabout.

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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Barney Lerten

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