UPDATE: Motorcyclist involved in accident with city bus dies

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 | 10:14 a.m. CDT; updated 8:41 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 14, 2010

COLUMBIA — Michael Heaston, 34, of Centralia died at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday after his motorcycle collided with a City of Columbia Para-Transit bus. The collision happened Monday morning on Vandiver Drive near Burlington Street, according to Columbia Police Public Information Officer Jessie Haden.

Heaston was taken to University Hospital where he underwent surgery Monday. According to a comment from Russell Elliot, Heaston's former father-in-law, on the Missourian's website, Heaston was removed from life support Tuesday night.

The crash occurred when Heaston swerved to attempt to avoid a collision with the city bus that was crossing Vandiver on Burlington. Heaston entered the left lane when his motorcycle went on its side and collided with the driver's side of the bus, which was driven by Archie Smith, 53, of Columbia.

The Boone County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy, and a Columbia Police Department traffic officer/accident reconstructionist is completing a crash investigation, Haden said. The investigation will utilize computer software and photography to re-examine the scene.

The police have not issued any tickets, but Haden said that they could be issued in the future as the investigation progresses.

Heaston worked at Dents Unlimited in Columbia for the last 3 and half years.  Dents Unlimited owner Marc LaFerriere said he was a fantastic employee and a devout Christian who loved life and people. He always tried to do things right, LaFerriere said.

Heaston had three children under the age of 10 and a wife in Centralia, LaFerriere said.

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