Crash kills 1 in Spring Flood Run – motorcycle accidents reported around MN


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A motorcyclist riding in the Spring Flood Run was killed after crashing with a sedan over the weekend – just one of the multiple motorcycle accidents from the first full warm weekend of the year.

Randall Beers, a 62-year-old from Onalaska, Wisconsin, was on a Harley Davidson traveling southbound on Highway 61 in Kellogg just before 5 p.m. Saturday, the State Patrol says.

A Pontiac was heading eastbound on Highway 42, waiting to turn left on to northbound Highway 61 (meaning the Pontiac had to cross through the southbound lanes in order to turn left).

The two vehicles collided, the State Patrol says, killing Beers on the scene.

Jessica Lesniewski, 37, from Bangor, Wisconsin, was also on the motorcycle; she suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a Rochester hospital, according to the incident report.

A driver and passenger in the Pontiac, both from Wisconsin, did not appear to suffer any injuries.

No alcohol was detected on anyone involved, the State Patrol report says. There is a stop sign at that intersection for Highway 42 travelers, but not for drivers on Highway 61 according to Google Maps.

The Flood Run is in its 51st year, and marks the unofficial start to motorcycle season in Minnesota. About 30,000 bikers were expected to hit the highways along the Mississippi River to celebrate – which also had the State Patrol urging caution, for both motorcyclists and drivers in the area to stay alert.

This year marked the second-earliest motorcycle season death in state history, when in early March two people were killed in a crash. During the 2015 riding season there were 61 motorcycle fatalities – up from the 44 in 2014, preliminary numbers showed.

Thrown from motorcycle after hitting barrier

Another motorcyclist was seriously injured Saturday night, though not as part of the Flood Run.

John Scheffknecht lost control of the Harley Davidson he was driving while on the ramp to get from Highway 61 North to I-494 in the east Twin Cities metro, the State Patrol says.

The motorcycle hit the barrier wall, and Scheffknecht was thrown from the vehicle – he went over the wall and landed on the road below the ramp.

The 54-year-old from Inver Grove Heights was taken to Regions Hospital with serious injuries, the State Patrol says. The report also notes alcohol was detected.

Accidents with less serious injuries

There were two more motorcycle accidents recorded in Minnesota over the two-day weekend, though both with less serious injuries:

Sunday, 6:26 p.m. – Morrison County.

While in a group of motorcycles, one Yamaha slowed to make a right turn; a Yamaha behind it didn't slow down, and hit the other's back end.

Sunday, 9:39 a.m. – Lake County

A motorcyclist struck a deer, resulting in non-life threatening injuries for the driver.

And FOX 9 reports two Minnesota men, riding motorcycles in Wisconsin, had animal run-ins over the weekend – one was injured when a turkey flew across the road and hit him in the head, the other was stung by a bee and had an allergic reaction.

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