After notifying family members of the victim, Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputies confirmed that Joseph Rogala, 19, died after being transported to Upstate University Hospital early Sunday morning.
Emergency workers were called to the scene of the crash in Lysander along Route 690, just south of Hencle Boulevard at 2:52 a.m. Sunday.
Deputies with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Accident Investigation Unit believe the driver of a 2009 Kenworth tractor-trailer, Hezekiah Augustus Gray, 50, of Orlando, Florida, was traveling south on Route 690, when he mistakenly turned onto the northbound lanes.
Rogala, who was driving a motorcycle north on Route 690, crashed into the side of the trailer. He was thrown from the bike, as it crossed the median into the southbound lanes of the highway.
On Sunday night, friends gathered at the crash site to remeber Rogala. They made a memorial for him on the side of the road.
"This kid was absolute magic to be around," said Austin Horna who often rode his motorcycle with Rogala.
"I saw him last night," said Rogala's friend Stephanie Meeker. "I gave him a hug. I'm like, 'Just ride safe. Be good.' I didn't know that was the last time I'd ever see him."
"I watched him pull away," said Rogala's friend Tyler Cook. "Shook his hand. he told me to ride safe. I don't remember if I told him or not."
Cook, Horna, Rogala and their group of friends would often ride to get food at the Baldwinsville Diner. Now they say they'll think of Joey every time they get on their bike.
"It's a reality check," said Horna. "People die all the time in motorcycle accidents. You read it in the newspaper, you see names in the paper, but it never hits home until it's just right there. It's one of your friends."
Gray, the driver of the tractor-trailer, was ticketed for failure to obey a traffic control device, driving the wrong way on a one-way roadway and making an improper U-turn. He's scheduled to appear in Town of Lysander Court on August 7, 2012. Gray was not hurt after the crash.
Route 690 was closed for several hours, in both directions between Hencle Boulevard and Route 370, while investigators looked for clues.
The Onondaga County District Attorneys Office will review the investigation once deputies complete their work.