A Franklin County motorcyclist was seriously injured Thursday evening in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 65 near Seymour, police report.
Robert Pettry, 26, was flown to a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, after the wreck reported near the 52 mile marker, according to a news release from Sgt. Stephen Wheeles with the Indiana State Police Versailles Post.
The initial investigation by the post’s crash reconstruction team indicates a state trooper was patrolling on I-65 in southern Bartholomew County, Wheeles said.
That trooper observed a motorcycle driving erratically southbound on I-65 at about 5:30 p.m. That trooper, however, was not in a position to catch up to the motorcycle, so he radioed the information to other troopers in the area.
Trooper Clayton Saltzman also was in the area and began observing for the motorcycle, Wheeles said.
He located the 2008 Aprilia motorcycle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop due to a registration violation and driving behavior, Wheeles said.
Upon activating his lights, the motorcyclist, later identified as Pettry, accelerated rapidly away from Saltzman, police report.
Within seconds of Saltzman attempting to stop the motorcycle, Pettry attempted to pass a red 2012 Chevrolet Cruze driven by Marlee Rogers, 32, of New Lothrop, Michigan, on the shoulder of the interstate.
Pettry’s motorcycle collided with the left rear of Rogers’ vehicle, police reported.
As a result, Pettry was ejected from the motorcycle. Pettry’s motorcycle continued to travel southbound, where it was then struck by a third vehicle before catching fire.
Pettry sustained serious injuries in the collision, Wheeles said.
Saltzman was on scene quickly and immediately provided medical attention, which included applying multiple tourniquets due to traumatic injuries sustained by Pettry, Wheeles said. Saltzman’s actions controlled the bleeding until emergency medical services personnel arrived on scene.
Pettry was airlifted to the Louisville hospital for treatment of serious injuries.
The investigation is ongoing. Toxicology tests are pending.
The southbound lanes of I-65 were closed for nearly three hours for crash investigation and cleanup.