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Firefighter and bear killed in motorcycle accident

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BRIEF: Motorcyclist dies in crash with bear, SUV in Central Oregon
By Morgan Theophil
The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.

June 03–WARM SPRINGS — A man and a bear were killed in a multivehicle crash Saturday night near Warm Springs on Highway 26, according to Oregon State Police.

Police said Rhett Larsen, 39, of Bend, an off-duty firefighter, was heading east on his motorcycle about 7 p.m. Saturday when a large bear ran into his path. He was unable to avoid the bear and struck and killed it.

Larsen was thrown from his motorcycle and was struck by a westbound Ford SUV pulling a utility trailer, according to OSP. The SUV was driven by 57-year-old Margaret Sweo of Oregon City. Sweo’s car traveled off the road and rolled onto its side.

Sweo was transported by Life Flight to a hospital. Larsen suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The Bend Fire Department on social media Sunday called the fire engineer a “respected leader” and said he is deeply missed, according to The Associated Press.

The road was closed for nearly six hours and a detour was in place. The Oregon Department of Transportation and Warm Springs Police Department assisted in the incident.

Follow Morgan on Twitter @morgan_theophil. Email morgan.theophil@registerguard.com.
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