Driver airlifted after crashing motorcycle

VAN BUREN TWP. — A Marion man was transported by a medical helicopter May 17 after he crashed his motorcycle on State Road 135 South.

Merrill C. Payne, 56, was eastbound on State Road 135 South when the accident occurred. A witness told police that it appeared Payne was traveling at a “high rate of speed” as he was coming over the crest of a hill near Susie Ayers Road, an accident report by Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Schonfeld states.

Payne’s motorcycle ran off the road and into a yard in the 6000 block of State Road 135 South. The motorcycle stopped east of another nearby driveway.

Payne was found laying next to the motorcycle. He was not wearing a helmet. He was airlifted by a medical helicopter to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital for critical head injuries, the report states.

The motorcycle was towed from the scene.