Republic Staff Report
The driver of a westbound motorcycle on State Road 46 was struck in the head by an errant bale of hay, sending the motorcycle off the road and resulting in serious injuries to both the driver and his passenger, police said Sunday.
William Eland III, 38, and Lindsay Eland, 32, a married couple from Indianapolis, were hospitalized after the 5:18 p.m. Saturday accident, which occurred in the vicinity of County Road 675W in western Bartholomew County.
Witnesses at the scene told police the eastbound truck on State Road 46 was pulling a 16-foot trailer carrying several square bales of hay.
Witnesses observed one bale come off of the trailer, striking William Eland, who was driving a 2013 Harley Davidson, said Major Todd Noblitt, chief deputy of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. The motorcycle then careened off the north side of the road, coming to a stop after striking a fence, witnesses told police.
Lifeline Helicopter, called to the scene, airlifted William Eland to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Lindsay Eland was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital and later airlifted to Methodist Hospital. Neither the motorcycle driver or passenger were wearing a helmet, Noblitt said.
William Eland was listed in critical condition early Sunday evening, when Lindsay Eland was listed in fair condition. Lori Ewoldt, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said she did not know the exact injuries that the couple suffered.
Investigators believe that the driver of the truck pulling the trailer may have been unaware that he lost part of the load, or that the accident happened. Police are attempting to locate the driver. Anyone who may have been in the area and transporting square bales of hay at the time of the accident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department at 379-1712.
The sheriff’s department was assisted at the scene by Columbus Regional Hospital and Harrison Township Fire Department.