Chesterton Tribune


Motorcyclist dies in crash on I-80 in Lake County

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A Gary motorcyclist died on Wednesday after rear-ending a semi-tractor trailer on I-80, the Indiana State Police said.

The victim was identified as Jonathan P. Veenstra-Bell, 17.

According to police, at 8:19 p.m. Veenstra-Bell was entering eastbound I-80 from the Kennedy Ave. on-ramp when he struck the semi’s trailer, traveling in the right lane.

The truck, Ernest F. Ashley, 50, of Moosehorn, Manitoba, advised police that he saw a flash in his rear-view mirror and stopped his rig. Then he noticed that his trailer was on fire. Ashley grabbed a fire extinguisher but “realized that something (later identified as the motorcycle) was under the trailer and that the fire was out of control,” police said.

Ashley then separated his tractor from the trailer to prevents its catching fire.

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

Veenstra-Bell was transported to Munster Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of massive blunt force trauma.

Ashley was hauling 40,000 pounds of engine parts for trains. There was no load loss.



Posted 9/19/2012