It has not been a good year for Wisconsin motorcyclists so far. Department of Public Safety officials say 79 people have been killed while riding, up from 70 at this same time last year. The latest occurred when an SUV collided with a bike in Sawyer, killing one rider and seriously injuring his passenger. The SUV occupants were treated and released from a local hospital.
Neighboring Minnesota is also having a deadly year for motorcyclists. Forty seven motorcyclist deaths have been reported there, five more than last year. Officials speculate the mild winter and subsequent extended riding season are responsible for some of the fatalities. Most of the time the more common causes of deadly wrecks are to blame; alcohol use, distracted or inattentive driving, and speeding.
Police are still investigating the Sawyer County crash. When rescuers arrived they found the motorcycle driver dead and a woman passenger badly injured. She was flown by helicopter to a trauma center in Duluth, Minnesota. No charges were filed immediately.
Both Wisconsin and Minnesota have set records for motorcycle-involved fatalities this year, and with two more months to go in 2012 the numbers will likely go up.
Source: Northland Newscenter, "Motorcycle crash kills one, injures passenger," Sep. 27, 2012