Two airlifted after motorcycle hits SUV

Troopers said the SUV, driven by April L. Smith, 59, of Belle Center, was travelling west on U.S. 33 around 12:45 a.m., when two motorcycles approached the vehicle from behind at a high rate of speed. One of the motorcycles, operated by Ariel E. Ballesteros, 38, of Bellefontaine, ran into the back of the SUV and tumbled across the road. Ballesteros was ejected from the vehicle.

The motorcyclist and a passenger in the SUV, identified as Jill E. Woods, 59, of Belle Center, were removed from the scene by medical helicopter, according to troopers. The driver of the SUV was taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Ballesteros was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, according to a release.

As of 8 a.m., both Woods and Ballesteros are in fair condition at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

Both speed and alcohol are believed to have played a role in the crash, troopers said. The Marysville post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation.