Police said a Columbus man riding his motorcycle Friday morning was killed when he struck a semi on Interstate 65 near the State Road 11 interchange.
Kevin Burton, 49, of Columbus, died just before 9 a.m. while he was merging his 1994 Yamaha motorcycle onto the I-65 northbound lanes from State Road 11, according Indiana State Trooper Korry Clark.
Clark said as Burton came down the ramp, a 2005 International semi, driven by Terry Brishaber, 60, of Henryville, was pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with wood trusses in the right lane of I-65 going north.
As Burton merged onto the interstate, he struck the drive axles of the semi, causing him to be ejected from his motorcycle, police said.
Burton, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Brishaber was uninjured, police said.
Both lanes of northbound I-65 were closed for more than an hour as troopers investigated the wreck.
State troopers, Motor Carrier Inspectors, Seymour Police Department, Jackson County Emergency Medical Services and the Jackson County coroner’s office assisted at the scene.
Coroner Roger Wheeler said an autopsy performed by Dr. George Weir at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour on Friday showed that Burton died from blunt force trauma.
The crash remains under investigation, police said.
Sgt. Noel Houze said motorists are reminded to stay alert to motorcycle traffic. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, he added.
Motorcyclists are reminded to be cognizant of other motorists, as well, and should wear appropriate protective gear as they ride, including helmets, Houze said.
Indiana law does not require the use of protective helmets when operating a motorcycle.