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Truck vs. motorcycle causes weekend fatality: Harrodsburg man killed after truck turns in front of him

Authorities remind public to recognize motorcycles on roadway as they do cars

A man was fatally injured in a wreck Saturday night near the Highland community of Lincoln County. Coroner Farris Marcum said the crash happened a little after 11 p.m. on U.S. 27, near Shake Rag Road.

According to authorities, a pickup truck driven by Ryan Wright, 20, of Lincoln County, turned in front of the motorcycle, causing it to wreck into the truck.

Robert Ray Shewmaker, 49, of Harrodsburg, was pronounced dead later Sunday morning at Ephraim McDowell Fort Logan Hospital. Marcum said the cause of death was blunt force trauma. He was not wearing a helmet.

Wright was not hurt.

U.S. 27 was shut down for several hours while crews worked the scene.

Shewmaker was being transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, Marcum said, but the air crew diverted him to Fort Logan due to an event in the air.

“He may have coded, I’m not sure,” Marcum said, but said his condition apparently began to deteriorate.

“They tried life-saving measures, but he was pronounced dead at 1:25 a.m. Sunday,” he said.

Marcum said he sees incidents like this one quite a bit — for some reason, people don’t seem to recognize motorcycles on the roadway like they do cars.

“That road bears off to the right a bit — he may have cut a little early off the road, I’m not sure, maybe thought he could turn in front of the motorcycle. People don’t recognize motorcycles very much or seem to yield to them,” Marcum said. He said it seems to be a common theme and occurrence in the deaths he works on the roadways, unfortunately.

“I think the truck just misjudged the clearance of the motorcycle, and yes — he’s correct; I guess they just don’t recognize motorcycles,” Lincoln Dep. Rob Oney said.

Marcum said according to his family, Shewmaker was an avid rider, having ridden for several years, and according to authorities he had his lights on.

“I’m not sure what the answer is,” Marcum said.

Dep. Oney said a blood toxicology report was taken on Wright, the driver of the truck. “But my suspicion is that it’s not going to be a factor.”

Oney said the main thing drivers can keep in mind is easy: Just wait a few seconds, and use common sense on turns.

“Your life is worth more than waiting 2 to 3, 4 to 5 seconds. Use common sense on turns, especially when you’re pulling out from somewhere,” Oney said. “I’d rather wait a few more seconds than wind up in the hospital or cause a fatality.”