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Injured motorcyclist in satisfactory condition

A motorcyclist who was seriously injured in a head-on collision Saturday on state Highway 500 near Camas is in satisfactory condition at a Vancouver hospital.

The condition of James W. Koch, 38, of Camas, was provided Monday morning by a spokesperson at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Koch was riding a 2007 Yamaha YFR motorcycle west on the highway near Northeast Robinson Road when an eastbound 2019 Volkswagen Jetta crossed into the westbound lane and struck him, according to a Washington State Patrol crash memo. The crash was reported shortly before 2 p.m.

His mother, Charlotte Koch, told The Columbian that her son flew into the windshield of the Volkswagen and was revived by first responders at the scene. He suffered a fractured vertebra in his neck, fracture at the back right of his skull and road rash on his left shoulder.

The driver of the Volkswagen, identified as Robin E. Ray, 37, of Washougal, was uninjured; a 12-year-old passenger was also uninjured, the crash memo states. Ray was charged with failure to yield the right of way and third-degree driving with a suspended license, the crash memo states.

Charlotte Koch said Monday her son was doing “pretty good” but has a long road to recovery. His injuries did not require any significant surgery, and the hospital planned to release him soon, she said. James Koch may have to undergo a major procedure, but only if his condition worsens.

He will likely need to wear a neck brace for at least six weeks, preventing him from working, according to his mother. She said she is thinking of setting up a fundraiser to help with expenses but hasn’t done so yet.


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