COLUMBIA — The motorcyclist injured during a collision with a Columbia Para Transit bus has been identified as Michael Heaston, 34, of Centralia, according to Public Information Officer Jessie Haden via e-mail. Heaston was seriously injured. As of 12:30 p.m., he had undergone surgery and was still in critical condition.
Heaston was driving west on Vandiver Drive as the city bus was crossing Vandiver, going southbound on Burlington Street, said Sgt. Shelley Jones of the Columbia Police Department. Heaston tried to avoid an accident by driving into the turn lane, but the motorcycle fell on its side and collided with the bus, Haden said. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the motorcyclist was lying on the ground near the back of the bus, according to a city news release.
Heaston, who was wearing a helmet, was taken to University Hospital by ambulance. There were no passengers on the bus, and its driver, Archie Smith, was uninjured. Smith, 53, of Columbia was wearing his seatbelt.
A worker from Labor Ready, located at 1900 Vandiver, witnessed the accident and had someone at the business call 911.
Traffic on Vandiver was down to one lane until 9:20 a.m.
Heaston's 2005 Harley Davidson Motorcycle sustained damage to the right side and was towed away by AJ's Towing and Recovery. The bus's left side was damaged.