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Bartholomew County, Indiana — July 13, 2013

Police say a motorcyclist was injured Saturday when he struck a motorcycle in the Columbus area.

According to deputies with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, an unidentified motorist was behind the wheel of a vehicle as it carted hay along Indiana 46. Some time during the evening, one of the bales fell from the vehicle and struck  a motorcycle.

Investigators say the rider, Indianapolis resident William Eland III, 38, veered off the roadway and struck a nearby fence. Paramedics responded to the scene and transported Mr. Eland to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital for treatment of major trauma.

His passenger, Lindsay Eland, 32, was also hospitalized. Investigators are still searching for the vehicle’s driver, who might have been unaware of the accident.

According to a pilot study by Westat and Dynamic Services International on behalf of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle deaths have increased from 2,200 in 1998 to 5,100 in 2007. The recent data reverse a trend that saw motorcycle deaths fall every year from 1993 to 1997.

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