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[ISP] Motorcyclist Dies in Crash on I-80
Start Date: 9/19/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/19/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

Hammond, Lake County-Indiana State Police Trooper Khari Walton responded to a crash, this evening, where a motorcyclist died after hitting the rear of a semi.

Preliminary investigation revealed that, at approximately 8:19 p.m., a 1994 Peterbilt semi pulling a flat bed, driven by Ernest F. Ashley, 50 of Moosehorn, Manitoba was east bound on I-80 in the right lane.  Two motorcycles, one a 1997 Harley Davidson XL 1200c Sport, was entering east bound I-80 from the Kennedy Avenue entrance ramp when it hit the rear of the Peterbilt’s trailer.

Ashley saw a flash in his rear view mirror and stopped his semi.  He then saw that his trailer was on fire and grabbed his extinguisher but realized that something (later identified as a motorcycle) was under the trailer and the fire was out of control.  Ashley separated his semi tractor from the trailer to prevent the tractor from catching fire.

The driver of the motorcycle was approximately 1,000 feet away from the trailer/motorcycle when it caught on fire.

The motorcyclist was taken to Munster Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead from massive blunt force trauma.  The motorcyclist has been identified as, Jonathan P. Veenstra-Bell, 17 of Gary, Indiana.  Family has been notified.

The semi, owned by Keystone Western out of Ile Des Chenes, Manitoba, was loaded with 40,000 pounds of engine parts for trains.  No load was loss at the scene.

The right three lanes (four lanes) are closed for reconstruction of the crash, removal of the deceased, and towing of the vehicles.

Agencies assisting:  Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Troopers Tim Grayson and Taylor Bryant, Trooper Rickey Rayner, Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers, Hammond Fire and Police, and Hammond EMA.

Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Ann Wojas
Phone: (219) 690-0029
Email: awojas@isp.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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    Police, Indiana State

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