Two motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads over the past two days, including one man who was being pursued by state troopers.
In that incident, 36-year-old Samnang Doeun Lenh of Oakdale was leading police on a chase on southbound Interstate 35 in Columbus Township just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Minnesota State Patrol's report says.
He was weaving in and out of traffic and ended up rear-ending a semi-truck hauling grain. Lenh was ejected and thrown to the shoulder. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Then, at 12:47 a.m. Wednesday, police in Mankato responded to a fatal motorcycle crash at the intersection of Adams and Johnson streets, an email news release says. No other vehicles were involved in the incident.
The rider in that crash hasn't been identified.
There have been three motorcycle fatalities so far this year in Minnesota, preliminary reports show. At this time last year, there were two rider deaths, a spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety told GoMN.
Early start to the riding season
The abnormally warm start to the year has motorcyclists taking advantage of an early riding season.
But officials say riders should be taking extra precautions for a few reasons.
Among them: there’s sand an gravel on intersections and turns (spring street sweeping doesn’t usually start this early); pavement is uneven; drivers aren’t used to seeing motorcycles on the road; and with temperatures cooler at night, snow runoff can freeze.
Riders are also asked to wear full, brightly-colored protective gear and a helmet. They’re encouraged to sign up for a training course too – you can find more information on those here.