TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - We now know the name of the man killed Wednesday afternoon, just after 3:00 p.m., when a motorcycle and box truck collided in Tippecanoe County.
The man killed in the accident was 21 year old Lafayette resident Lucas Spitznagle. The driver of the truck, 39-year-old Jason Sharp of Frankfort, was not injured in the crash.
The collision occurred on State Road 25 just two miles north of interstate 65 in the Buck Creek area.
Investigators say Spitznagle was headed north when his motorcycle crossed into the southbound lane, hitting the box truck. Police and witnesses say speed was a factor.
Witnesses driving directly behind the truck at the time of the incident say it all happened in the blink of an eye.
"The motorcycle had to try to cut down the middle and hit the side of the truck and that's how it spun off and it just happened in the matter of seconds," wreck witness Courtney Goosby said.
"All you could see is the truck and hear the truck brakes screeching and all I could see was the man floating in the air and the bikes completely crumbled next to him as he's sliding down," wreck witness John White said.
Another passenger of the same car says he and his friends ran to help, but it was clear Spitznagle sustained fatal injuries.
"When I saw him, he was on his last breath. He took like maybe two or three more breaths," wreck witness Johnny Fernandez said.
Jo Shafer lives on State Road 25 and was outside with her family when the motorcyclist passed by at what she said was a noticeably high rate of speed.
"That motorcycle came and just went zoom, and it was gone," witness Jo Shafer said. It took five seconds. "It was here and gone. My daughter said, 'that's a wreck about to happen,' and then we heard it."
Shafer said, wrecks happen on State Road 25 frequently and it's important to take your time and pay attention because of the road's many curves and intersecting county roads.
John White said life is fragile and reminds all motorists to take it easy.
"This is tragic, because his life was taken in the matter of minutes," White said. "That's why people need to be more careful when riding these motorcycles. It's fun to drive them and things like that, but also you've got to think about what could happen."
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