The driver, a Sunriver man, was cited for careless driving
La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Florida motorcyclist was flown to St. Charles Bend with a critical leg injury Saturday after a Sunriver man pulled out from the shoulder of U.S. Highway 97 in La Pine and struck the motorcycle, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.
Deputies were dispatched shortly before 1 p.m. to the reported crash on the highway at Finley Butte Road, Lt. Ty Rupert said.
Deputies found the rider, Joseph Birchell, 36, of Venice, Florida, in the middle of the highway and the car driven by Marvin Cudd Jr., 71, of Sunriver, on Finley Butte Road, Rupert said.
La Pine and Sunriver fire medics treated Birchell for a critical injury to his lower right leg, the lieutenant said. A landing zone was set up on the highway for an AirLink helicopter to land and take Birchell to St. Charles Bend.
An investigation found that Cudd was driving a 2003 Ford Taurus south on the highway and had pulled onto the road shoulder. Rupert said Cudd unexpectedly pulled back into the travel lane to follow a car he’d been waiting for and struck Birchell’s 2006 Yamaha Vmax motorcycle.
Birchell and his motorcycle slid across the highway and came to rest in the northbound lanes, near Finley Butte Road.
Cudd was cited for careless driving, Rupert said, adding that drugs and alcohol were not factors in the crash.
The highway was closed for about 45 minutes, with a detour, and ODOT assisted with traffic control. Birchell’s motorcycle was towed from the scene.