Ore. blind man, 81, dies after pickup hits him

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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (AP) -- Hospital officials say an 81-year-old blind man has died after being struck by a pickup truck on the highway east of Springfield.

The Eugene Register-Guard reported Monday (http://bit.ly/wxOZGE) that John Robert Chamberlain was struck as he was attempting to cross Oregon Highway 126 near Walterville. He was hit Thursday and died Saturday at the hospital in Springfield.

State police say they're trying to determine whether Chamberlain was using a white cane. Oregon law requires vehicles to yield to blind and deaf pedestrians with white canes or guide dogs.

The driver, 51-year-old James Coulson of Springfield, told police he was confused about Chamberlain's intentions, saying the pedestrian retreated from traffic to the shoulder and then re-entered the highway. Police say Coulson braked hard but couldn't avoid hitting him.