One man was killed and eight others were injured -- including three with critical injuries -- after a car slammed into a group of motorcycles about 175 miles east of La Crosse.
The accident on U.S. 151 near Taycheedah, Wisconsin, involved a group of a dozen motorcyclists from Michigan passing through on their way to the Mackinac Bridge.
Law enforcement officials said a car slammed into the motorcyclists on a rural stretch of the highway.
Friends and family say the motorcyclists were part of a club that made an annual "Bridge Run" to the famous suspension bridge that links the upper and lower parts of Michigan.
The group left the Muskegon, Michigan, area last Thursday to ride a ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. From there, they were to ride north through Wisconsin to the Mackinac Bridge. That leg of their journey was to be about 370 miles.
They had just barely begun the ride when tragedy hit. Instead of riding the highways, some of the uninjured motorcyclists and a couple of the less severely injured motorcyclists made their way back home to attend a prayer gathering and vigil for their friends.
A Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told a media source that the group were heading north on 151 when a southbound car driven by a Calumet County, Wisconsin, man. 25, veered across the highway and struck 10 of the dozen motorcycles.
One of the men on motorcycles died at the scene. The three with critical injuries were airlifted to a hospital.
The driver of the car was also airlifted for care. He, too, had critical, life-threatening injuries sustained in the crash.
Law enforcement officials said all of the motorcyclists were wearing helmets and protective eye gear.
The sheriff's department is investigating the cause of the crash. When this was written, it was not yet known if alcohol, drugs or distracted driving played a role.
Source: mlive.com, "Muskegon motorcyclists involved in fatal Wisconsin accident reportedly taking part in annual 'Bridge Run'," June 3, 2012