updated 6/22/2006 1:53:09 AM ET 2006-06-22T05:53:09

A motorcyclist died after apparently being struck by lightning while riding in rush hour traffic on a highway between Denver and Boulder, police said.

Witnesses reported seeing a flash of light shortly before the motorcyclist struck the highway's center concrete divider, Westminster police spokesman Tim Read said in a statement.

The man, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene Wednesday. His motorcycle came to rest about 150 meters from where lightning blasted an 18-by-8-inch crater 4 inches deep that blew chunks of asphalt across the highway and slightly damaged other vehicles.

The man was wearing a helmet.

The highway, U.S. 36, was closed for about two hours as police investigated.

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