Woman dies after motorcycle wreck Monday in northern part of county

A Michigan woman died Monday at an Indianapolis hospital where she was flown after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle wreck on State Road 135 in northern Jackson County.

Shirley A. Thrush, 60, of Sturgis was taken to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital where she died of head injuries after the wreck reported 11:49 a.m. Monday, according to a report from Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Adam Nicholson.

Thrush had been riding on a 2012 Harley-Davidson being driven by Michael L. Falkenstein, 52, also of Sturgis, in the 10500 block of State Road 135, Nicholson said.

He said Falkenstein sustained a bruised lung and was treated by medical personnel with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services before being transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour. He later was transferred to Methodist and eventually released.

Nicholson said the wreck was initially reported to the Brown County Sheriff’s Department but transferred to Jackson County dispatchers once it was determined the wreck was in Jackson County about 4 miles north of Freetown.

County Detective Ben Rudolph was the first to respond, and he told dispatchers there were two separate wrecks involving motorcycles. Rudolph gave medical attention to Thrush and was assisted by medical personnel with Pershing Township Volunteer Fire Department and Nicholson once they arrived until Jackson County EMS personnel made it to the scene.

A LifeLine medical helicopter also was dispatched to the scene at Rudolph’s request.

That helicopter landed about a half-mile north of the crash site.

During the investigation, officers were able to determine Thrush had been a passenger on a motorcycle being driven by Falkenstein.

Nicholson said the wreck occurred as Falkenstein approached a downhill curved portion of State Road 135 known as Weekly Hill and came upon another motorcycle that was slowed due to a motorcycle accident that had just occurred on the same hill.

While attempting to stop, Falkenstein’s motorcycle slid out of control, and both he and Thrush were thrown from it.

Detective Bob Lucas, a crime scene investigator, was called and assisted officers with the investigation, which is ongoing. No serious injuries were reported in that crash.