An early morning crash on southbound U.S. Highway 75 in Howe sent one motorcyclist to the hospital with serious injuries and caused a massive traffic backup that lasted for approximately two hours.

At approximately 6:53 a.m. on Tuesday, Howe P.D. Sgt. Michael Hill was driving southbound on 75 when he came upon a major crash involving a motorcycle and two other vehicles.

A 54-year-old Howe resident was traveling southbound on 75 north of Farmington Road on a 2008 Honda Goldwing when he was struck by a cardboard box that was blown from the bed of a 2013 Ford F-150. The motorcycle rider then struck the center concrete divider wall, came off the bike and came to a sliding rest face-down on the left shoulder of the roadway. According to Howe Police Chief Carl Hudman, the rider was wearing gloves and a helmet when the accident occurred but the helmet at some point was ripped from his head. There were obvious head and facial injuries and the man was transported by helicopter to Medical Center of Plano.

There was a third vehicle involved — a 2015 Chevrolet Traverse that was behind the motorcyclist was also hit by the box, though there was only minor damage to that vehicle’s lower left front portion. The driver of the Traverse was not injured. The Gold Wing sustained minor fairing damage relative to the crash.

The highway was shut down by Van Alstyne and Howe fire personnel until the victim could be flown out as the roadway was shut down to create a landing zone for the helicopter.

Howe police issued a citation to the driver of the truck for losing its load on the roadway. Traffic was diverted to the service roads as the highway was closed.