ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – Police say one motorcyclist was killed and another suffered broken bones in a six-vehicle Elkhart County crash when a pickup truck hauling landscaping equipment smashed into a line of stopped vehicles early Friday afternoon.
The crash happened around 12:53 p.m. on State Road 15 south of County Road 50, according to a release issued Tuesday night by the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office.
Sixty-year-old Darrell Lemon, of Elkhart, who was riding a 2014 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, was killed in the crash. Police say he was not wearing a helmet.
A 2005 Ford F-150 pulling a trailer with landscaping equipment driven by 23-year-old Ricardo Vega, of Milford, was headed north on State Road 15. The road in this area was under construction, with traffic reduced to one lane in each direction. The pickup truck reportedly rear-ended a line of stopped vehicles.
The first vehicle to be hit was Lemon's motorcycle. Lemon "was ejected from the motorcycle and died at the scene," according to the release.
After that initial collision, the Ford pickup hit a 2003 Nissan 350 driven by 21-year-old Jose Lazaro, of Goshen, running the Ford off the road. Lazaro suffered minor injuries that were treated at the scene.
Debris from the two initial collisions hit a 2014 Dodge Caravan, causing minor damage.
After these collisions, the Ford pickup reentered the road and rear-ended a 2009 Pontiac G6, which contained 26-year-old Tiffany Brady, of Milford, and an 8-year-old. The child was not hurt, but Brady reportedly complained of neck pain and arm numbness.
In an attempt to avoid the collision, 75-year-old James Gluckin, of Elkhart, who was headed south on S.R. 15, laid down his 2018 Honda Goldwing. He was wearing a helmet and suffered a broken left arm, a fracture to his left shoulder and possible other broken bones.
After all the collisions, the Ford pickup truck's front end was crushed, the Harley-Davidson had damage all over, the Nissan had a smashed rear end, the Dodge had minor damage to its rear end, the Pontiac's rear end was crushed and the Honda motorcycle had damage from sliding.
The crash remains under investigation by the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office Crash Investigation Team. S.R. 15 was completely closed from C.R. 50 to County Road 146 for more than four hours.