Deadly holiday weekend for motorcyclists in Minnesota, with 3 fatal accidents


Separate accidents killed at least three more motorcyclists in Minnesota over the weekend, bringing the death toll for the year to at least 50, which is climbing higher after surpassing the 47 deaths in all of 2014.

Monday afternoon

The latest accident occurred Monday afternoon on Hwy. 169 in Aitkin County.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a motorcyclist was traveling southbound on Hwy. 169 near Robin Hood Drive when he apparently crossed into the northbound lane and struck a northbound SUV head-on.

The motorcycle driver, 29-year-old Adam Michalski of Clearwater, died at the scene, according to the patrol.

Six passengers in the SUV were injured. Five of them - the driver and four children, all from Blaine - suffered non-life threatening injuries. The sixth, a 66-year-old Florida woman, was seriously injured. They were all taken to various hospitals for treatment, according to KSTP.

Sunday evening

One motorcyclist was killed and another injured Saturday evening after crashing in a construction area in Oak Park Heights.

The two men rode their motorcycles through a construction zone at the intersection of state highways 95 and 36 about an hour apart, and both of them ended up crashing.

According to the State Patrol, the first cyclist drove into the area shortly after 6 p.m., veered to the right and struck a hydraulic lift. Edward Werbachowski, 39, of Brooklyn Park, died at the scene, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The second cyclist drove through the same area about an hour later, lost control and crashed, the State Patrol said. That driver, 39-year-old Christopher Ree of Blaine, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries.

The patrol noted that alcohol was detected in the systems of both the cyclists, and neither was wearing a helmet.

Saturday afternoon

A passenger on a motorcycle was killed in an accident Saturday afternoon on Highway 120 in Oakdale. It happened when a Ford Explorer traveling northbound overcorrected and hit two motorcycles head-on, the State Patrol’s report says.

Steven Silva, 53, of Eagan, was driving one of the motorcycles and was seriously injured in the crash. His passenger, 49-year-old Tonia Stocking of Cottage Grove, was killed. They were not wearing helmets.

A passenger on the other motorcycle was also injured, but the injuries aren’t described as life threatening.

The accident is even more tragic because the motorcyclists were part of a group of more than 170 riders who gathered to raise money for the family of Randy Thill, who was killed in a motorcycle crash back in June.

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