A Columbia man died as a result of a motorcycle crash that occurred Thursday afternoon in Lafayette County.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that a westbound 2000 Harley Davidson, driven by 45-year-old Michael P. Kniest of Columbia, was on I-70 at the 31.4 mile marker (just east of Bates City) just before 3:30 p.m., when he changed lanes and struck the towed unit of a westbound 2023 Freightliner Cascadia, driven by 55-year-old Lira B. Ruben of Bakersfield, Calif. Kniest was ejected from the motorcycle and transported to Centerpoint Hospital in Independence by Sni Valley EMS.

Kniest was pronounced dead at 4:18 p.m., by Dr. David Greengart.

The motorcycle had moderate damage, while the Freightliner had minor damage.

This was Troop A's 58th fatality for 2023.

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