Bike crash leaves 2 injured

GREENFIELD — A woman was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital Sunday evening after the motorcycle she was riding with her husband overturned after hitting a patch of gravel.

A Shelbyville couple was riding a motorcycle in the 2100 block of South Morristown Pike in Greenfield just after 7:15 p.m. Sunday.

The driver, Wade Haney, 40, drove over a patch of gravel that caused him to lose control of his bike, police said.

The motorcycle slid off the roadway, falling on top of the passenger, Michelle Haney, 43.

Both Haneys complained of pain all over their bodies, according to emergency dispatch records. Neither was wearing a helmet, records show.

Michelle Haney suffered serious injuries to her legs that prompted local fire department medics to call for a medical helicopter, which then transported her to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, officials said. A condition report was not available Monday, but she was expected to fully recover, police said.

Wade Haney was taken by ambulance to Indianapolis University Health Methodist Hospital, officials said. Information on his condition was not unavailable Monday, hospital officials said.

Police are warning motorcycle owners to be careful when heading out for rides in early spring weather and reminding other motorists to be wary of two-wheeled vehicles sharing the roadway.

Nearly 5,000 people were killed, and more than 88,000 people injured in motorcycle crashes in 2015, according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Roughly 90 percent of those crashes occurred on non-interstate roads, like rural streets and state highways, statistics show.

Riders should be careful of patches of salt and sand left behind from icy road treatments of winter months, Hancock County Sheriff’s Lt. Donnie Munden said.

Slower speeds will help motorcycle riders maintain proper traction and decrease the risk of accidents, he said.

Before taking to the road, motorcycle riders should make sure their headlights and taillights are working properly, Munden added. And although Indiana state law does not require those riding motorcycles to wear helmets, police recommend they be used to protect from serious head injuries, he said.

Those driving cars, too, need to be mindful that motorcycles will be on local roadways more often as spring and summer approaches, Munden said. Keeping a safe distance between a car and a motorcycle will help keep all drivers safe.

Stay safe

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating, but dangerous, officials said. Simple steps can help riders stay safe while on the road:

Be visible — Make sure headlights and taillights work before riding and be wary of a vehicle’s possible blind spots. Motorists might have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.

Dress well — Wear a helmet and eye protection each time you ride. Bright clothing will make you more visible to drivers, and long sleeves, pants and gloves will protect from injuries.

Drive carefully — Stick to the speed limit and leave space between your motorcycle and other cars. Even if a driver sees you, they might not be able to properly judge your speed.

Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.