CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — A truck driver with Rogue Disposal will not face any criminal charges in connection with a collision near Central Point in April of this year that injured a bicyclist, the Jackson County District Attorney's Office said Friday.
The incident happened on the afternoon of April 7, when officers responded to a report that a bicyclist had been struck by a Rogue Disposal truck near the intersection of West Vilas and Table Rock Road. Police identified the driver as Troy Ireland, while the victim was 31-year-old Kayla Jones.
When officers arrived at the scene, Jones was laying face down against the curb, the DA's office said. She was treated at the scene by medical staff before being brought to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. She was later transferred to Legacy Emanuel in Portland.
In interviews with officers, Ireland said that he did not know he had struck anyone until he felt a bump while pulling out of a driveway. Once he felt the bump, he got out and realized that he'd hit someone.
"Deputies did not observe any signs of intoxication," the DA's office said. "Mr. Ireland denied consuming intoxicants. Pursuant to his employer's policy, Mr. Ireland completed a toxicology test and breath test to determine if he was under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. Both of these tests returned negative."
The DA's office said that there was one juvenile eyewitness to the incident. She told investigators that she saw Jones stop, waiting for the Rogue Disposal truck to turn out of the driveway. As the driver turned, the bike's front tire was caught in the truck's back wheels and "pulled her in." The witness next reported seeing Jones on the ground.
Deputies later reviewed surveillance footage from a nearby business, which showed the Rogue Disposal truck pulling up to the exit of the business and toward West Vilas Road.
"The Rogue Disposal truck is seen waiting for a time as traffic flows in both directions. Ms. Jones is then seen entering the screen, riding her bicycle eastbound on what appears to be either the sidewalk or in the bike lane on the north side of the roadway," the DA's office said. "In this area of West Vilas Road, there are marked bicycle lanes indicating that bicycle traffic should ride with traffic, not against traffic. Therefore, Ms. Jones should have been riding in the bike lane on the south side of West Vilas Road."
In the video, as the eastbound traffic begins to clear, the Rogue Disposal truck begins to exit the driveway. The DA's office said that Jones can be seen nearing the truck before slowing abruptly. She's able to stop before hitting the truck, putting her feet on the ground. But as the truck turns, Jones' front tire is caught in the rear tires of the truck, and the truck runs over Jones. The Rogue Disposal truck immediately slows and stops against the curb, the DA's office said.
A reconstructionist determined that Ireland had come to a complete stop before crossing the sidewalk area, and there were no visual obstructions to his view. As a result, the reconstructionist concluded that Ireland "did not exercise due care," a primary factor in the incident.
Nonetheless, the DA's office found that Jones was in violation of two state statutes: failure to ride in the bike lane, and unsafe operation of a bicycle on a sidewalk — which the DA's office said arose from Jones' speed when nearing the driveway.
"Ms. Jones had a clear view of the Rogue Disposal truck and was required to slow to an ordinary walking speed, or approximately 3 miles per hour, as she approached the driveway. In fact, Ms. Jones was traveling at approximately 10.8 miles per hour, likely causing her abrupt stop too close to the Rogue Disposal Truck," the DA's office said.
The reconstructionist concluded that Jones' actions were also a contributing factor to the collision.
Ultimately, the DA's office determined that there was not enough evidence to support the allegation that Ireland acted in a reckless or criminally negligent manner, and no charges will be filed.
"The events of that day were unfortunate," the DA's office said in closing. "However, they do not rise to the level of criminal conduct."