UPDATE: Motorcyclist Killed in Gold Hill was Institutionalized for Murder

A Eugene-area man who died in a crash over the weekend had a strange and troubled past.

Posted: Jun 25, 2018 2:42 PM
Updated: Jun 26, 2018 5:53 PM

UPDATE: The man who died in a motorcycle crash in Gold Hill over the weekend was previously found guilty of murder by reason of insanity, according to court documents.

Most of the documents related to the case and Hansen's institutionalization are still sealed, providing little detail of the episode.

In December of 2004, Gary Hansen killed his elderly neighbor, Richard Clearwater—by slashing the man's throat, according to the Associated Press. A paranoid Hansen believed that Clearwater was a sex offender, among other things.

At the time of the murder, Hansen and Clearwater both lived in Gold Hill.

In November of 2006, a Jackson County judge found Hansen guilty by reason of insanity and referred him to the state Psychiatric Security Review Board to be committed into a mental hospital.

However, by the Fall of 2013, the Psychiatric Security Review Board approved Hansen's request to step down to a residential treatment facility as soon as an opening could be found.

Hansen had no legal history beyond these final arrangements for his mental health placement and treatment.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office has not yet announced the results of Hansen's toxicology report or what may have caused the crash that cost the man his life.

(Updated as of 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, June 26)

GOLD HILL, Ore. — A man from the Eugene area is dead after a nighttime motorcycle crash on Second Avenue in Gold Hill, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO).

Dispatchers received a call regarding the crash just after 9 p.m. on Saturday night. Callers said that the motorcycle rider was injured and unresponsive at the time.

When medics from Rogue River Fire District arrived, they found 58-year-old Gary Hansen dead at the scene.

Witnesses told JCSO deputies that they had seen Hansen riding his red 2017 Harley Davidson FLH northbound on Second Ave. Hansen suddenly veered off the roadway and onto the gravel shoulder, crashing and sliding about 50 yards away from where he had left the roadway.

Hansen was wearing a helmet at the time, but JCSO reports that it came off during the crash.

According to JCSO, an investigator with the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office is looking into the crash and the cause of death. It is still unknown if intoxicants may have played a role in the incident. Toxicology reports from the medical examiner are "standard procedure" after fatal crashes.

Hansen is reported to have lived in the 85000-block of Lorane Highway southwest of Eugene, but he is believed to have ties to the Jackson County area.

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