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2 face charges in 2012 rock tossing that injured University of Oregon distance runner

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EUGENE, Oregon — Two Southern Oregon men face assault and other charges in a 2-year-old case in which a rock tossed from a freeway overpass shattered the windshield of a car and seriously injured a University of Oregon distance runner.

Molly Grabill was driving and fellow distance runner Chris Brewer was a passenger in her car on Nov. 26, 2012, when the rock from an Interstate 5 overpass shattered the windshield and hit Grabill in the face, knocking her unconscious.

The car spun out of control and overturned. Grabill suffered a broken jaw and other head and facial injuries. She was hospitalized for two days.

Brewer suffered less serious injuries. Both have resumed running.

A grand jury returned indictments in December against Matthew Logan McKinney and Hayden Ray Tabor, the Eugene Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1tynCbz) reported Friday.

Both are 21 and from Sutherlin, south of the overpass in Douglas County.

They face felony assault charges that could result in mandatory minimum sentences of nearly six years.

Arraignments are scheduled later this month. The two are not in custody. Neither could be reached Friday. A lawyer who once represented McKinney did not return a phone call.

In late November, Grabill filed a $950,000 lawsuit against McKinney and Tabor.

Her lawyer, Scott Lucas of Eugene, said the suit is to be dismissed because insurance companies have agreed to pay her the maximum amounts allowed under the policies of the two men. But he said that was "inadequate to cover the full measure of Molly's damages." He would not disclose the amounts.

Police said early on in the investigation that McKinney flung the rock. He was arrested but not immediately indicted. Tabor's name was not made public until Grabill sued.

Prosecutor Shannon Sullivan had said previously that the case remained open. She did not return a call Friday seeking comment about the length of time between the crash and the indictment.

The suit said McKinney was in a vehicle driven by Tabor. State Police Detective Tom Willis declined to say whether investigators suspect Tabor of having thrown rocks.

Grabill, 22, spent months recovering and then returned to running in the fall of 2013.

She completed her junior season in November with a 77th-place finish in the 6,000-meter race at the NCAA women's cross country championship meet.

Brewer, 21, also continues to run for the Ducks. Both are natives of the San Diego area.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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