Man Killed, Fiancee Critically Hurt In Motorcycle Crash

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. (CBS) — A man riding a motorcycle was killed and his female passenger was critically injured when they crashed on the Indiana Toll Road in Lake County, Ind., on Tuesday.

Indiana State Police said that officers responded to a single motorcycle crash at 2:55 p.m. on I-90 at the Broadway exit.

Witnesses told police that a 2001 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle was traveling through a construction zone in the left lane and headed into a curve when it lost control on some gravel on the shoulder.

The bike fishtailed, went across the right lane and hit a guard rail, tossing the driver and the passenger from the motorcycle.

The driver, identified as Chris J. Schrad, 29, was thrown 428 feet, through a fence, police said. The passenger, identified as Shelly Pierce, 34, was thrown 122 feet.

Schrad was pronounced dead at the scene. Pierce, his fiancee, was taken to North Lake Methodist Hospital in Gary with critical injuries, police said.

Both victims are from Webster City, Iowa, police said. Neither of them was wearing a helmet, although two helmets were secured on the bike. One of the helmets had a sticker reading “I don’t wear this helmet by choice.”

After striking the guardrail, the bike bounced across both lanes of westbound I-90 and hit a concrete barrier wall, then went up in the air and slid along the left lane.

The westbound lanes of I-90 were closed for about 25 minutes as officials investigated the crash.

  • bryan

    I particularly like the paragraph about helmets. Might be nice if they concluded that the rider suffered no fatal injuries outside the area confined by a helmet before making such suggestive remarks. It’s funny how they don’t say these things about pedestrians crossing the street even though the fatality rates are about equal.

  • Holly irvin

    Was it really necessary to involve the comment about the sticker on the helmet? Please explain how the helmet wouldve changed the outcome of flying over 400 ft into a fence! Pretty sure the helmet wouldve have saved him! Youre article was not only rude but disrespectful for the friends and family! There was no need for the sticker comment!!!!

  • Tara Witt

    How very insensitive and disrespectful can you guys be. I am friends of the family of Chris and I wouldnt dare post this on my page or share it. Holly is right, he was thrown 428 feet, a helmet wasnt going to save his life. Show some respect for the families!

  • Amber Marie Sheldon

    Amen! Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Jayde Witte

    Your lack of emotion in this article is completely rude an disgraceful.
    next time you right and article consider the family and friend’s feelings when they read this maybe then you’ll show a bit more compassion

  • Centurion

    Only a moron would have made the comment about the helmet….. the helmet would have protected his punctured lungs, lacerated liver and broken ribs. IDIOT REPORTER!

    I truly wish this reporter can be reassigned to covering stories….SOMEWHERE IN LIBYA during a NATO bombing raid.

  • Heather, WC

    All above I agree with to the extreme. As a critical care nurse with a trauma background, I especially concur with Centurions comments regarding other physical injuries. A helmet may protect the head, but not the other vital organs. The statement made was an insult to Chris and Shelly as well as their grieving families. One should have more respect for the deceased. It doesn’t change the amount of pain from their loss!

  • Cindy Friede

    Prayers are with both families today. Please fire this reporter, comments like these are not necessary. Have some compassion for the grieving families.

  • Jenny Smith

    When writing an article such as this, all we need are the facts of the CRASH/ACCIDENT. Do you write about what the girl was wearing that was raped or the offensive bumper sticker on the car that crashed? How ridiculous!! This article should be deleted and wrote with SOME RESPECT. As for the writer, well they should be fired. PERIOD.

  • RSchnell

    I feel compelled to respond to the article you have published. As a RN previously working in an ER setting or responding to the scene of an accident I find it extremely disheartening to read your article as published. I am NOT a motorcycle supporter in anyway shape or form despite my husband, family members and friends owning Harley’s. Due to the extent of Mr.Schard’s injuries a helmet would not have saved his life. Do you CONSISTENTLY state in your accident reports if a victim whether alive or deceased is wearing a seatbelt,helmet,lifevest etc. let alone what may be written on the victims personal property? The point is a young man has lost his life and his finance is fighting to cling onto her life. We all know the freedom of speech and each individuals interpretation of what is said or written. I would ask you to sit quietly,reflect back on this article and imagine this is your son, brother, grandson, uncle, family member or friend. Can you see and feel the unnecessary verbage? The fact is there was no helmet worn…ENOUGH SAID!! I will send
    my apologizes to the Schrad and Pierce families and I pray your conscience will do the same. Lesson learned, I pray this does not happen again in your reporting career – it could be your loved one you are reading about. Stick to the facts and not others personal unnecessary information. Prayers to the Schrad and Pierce families. May they feel the warm support, faith and love from others
    with Gods arms wrapped around all of you.

  • Lia, Maine

    I am horrified by your statement about the sticker. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to scroll down to the comments to find that not a single person joined you, joking in the record of his death. As one of his friends, I can tell you that he is one of the kindest, gentlest ol’ boys you’ll never meet. This “Pro Chris” support is testmant to that. In honor of his spirit, I have nothing insulting to say to you. But you really should try sports, where jesting about the irony of a situation improves your ratiings. Your editor should go with you.

    • Lia


  • Roberta Waker

    Our sympathy goes out to the family along with prayers for Shelly’s recovery. The helmet comment was in poor taste, but with all the fatalities of motorcyclists recently who were not wearing helmets; the writer probably was trying to make a point at the wrong time with the wrong accident. Hope the writer gets his act together and thinks before he writes the next story about someone’s family and shows a little sympathy and common sense.

  • righttrack

    Motorcycles are fun to ride, but offer litte in the way of protection should something go wrong.

  • hw

    I am guessing the helmut comment was added as pure irony to the tradgedy that occurred. They created their own karma in a sense by thinking they were invinceable while riding a motorcycle and not needing a helmut. The sticker being tongue and cheek but making a statement that no protection is needed. To each his own.

  • Jen Schreiber Scobee

    the helmet sticker is to be read while the helmet is on the riders head. meaning the rider isn’t wearing it by choice. it was taken out of context and never should have been included in the story at all, do you include bumper/window stickers from auto accidents? ridiculous.

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