Michigan City man killed in motorcycle accident

2011-06-02T14:30:00Z 2011-06-02T23:30:57Z Michigan City man killed in motorcycle accidentBy Stan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 02, 2011 2:30 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | Kathleen Kindla was sitting beside her 3-year-old grandson along U.S. 20 when she saw a motorcycle crash into the rear of a car and the driver of the Harley Davidson fly about 50 yards through the air.

"It's not anything that I ever want to witness again. Never in my life," Kindla said Thursday while recalling the Wednesday afternoon accident.

John Bibb, 60, of Michigan City, died from massive injuries in the 3 p.m. collision about a half-mile east of Johnson Road.

According to LaPorte County police, 24-year-old Stephanie Stone, also of Michigan City, was stopped on the four-lane highway.

Stone was waiting to make a left turn into Cascade Mountain, which offers miniature golf, batting cages and go-cart rides.

She told police she saw a vehicle, in her rearview mirror, approaching from behind change lanes and pass her on the right.

The motorcycle then came up from behind and hit the rear of her car.

Kindla said she saw the man go airborne and land in her driveway.

"He looked like a rag doll," Kindla said. "I feel sorry for the family. I really do.

Stone told investigators she had her turn signal on.

Kindla, though, disagreed.

"I did not see a turn signal on that car at all," Kindla said.

Many bad crashes have occurred on that heavily traveled stretch of U.S. 20, police said. Homes and businesses line the four-lane highway, creating a need for motorists to often stop before turning into those properties.

There are no turning lanes except at major intersections.

LaPorte County Sheriff Mike Mollenhauer said law enforcement tries to be as visible as possible, but the only way to have a major impact is to divide the highway and add turning lanes.

Due to cost and other factors, he doesn't see that happening anytime soon.

"You have to be alert, be patient and slow down. That's all you can tell the people," Mollenhauer said.

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