It now appears that excessive speed contributed to a crash that killed a motorcyclist Tuesday night.
The Star Tribune is reporting that the State Patrol identified the driver as Anand Baskaran, 30, of East Northport, N.Y. Baskaran worked at 3M as an information technology analyst, a company official told the newspaper. Baskaran's Facebook page has numerous photos displaying the man with motorcycles.
At a Wednesday press conference, Lt. Jason Bartell of the Minnesota State Patrol told reporters that witnesses said that Baskaran was traveling at a high rate of speed, perhaps between 100 and 120 mph. WCCO reports that he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Baskaran was riding with another motorcyclist who was also driving at a high rate of speed. Bartell said patrol investigators are seeking the second cyclist.
"Having a speed that fast is just a recipe for disaster," Bartell said
Earlier it was reported that the cyclist was thrown from his bike when he hit a pothole. Bartell clarified that witnesses said that he lost control after he hit a crack in the road. He added that the stretch of roadway where the accident happened – eastbound Highway 394 near Theodore Wirth Parkway – is not particularly dangerous or pocked with potholes.
Martell reminded motorcyclists to be careful when riding due to the ice and sand remaining on many state roadways.
FOX 9 said that the crash is the state's first motorcycle fatality of the year and the second earliest on rec. The Minnesota Transportation Department's accident reports page shows that 51 people have died in traffic accidents in the state so far this year. That's the same number of fatalities in the same period in 2013.
Potholes that have ranged from dangerous to merely annoying are plaguing Minnesota motorists. Persistent wintry freeze-and-thaw conditions have created thousands of hazards on roads around the state. Potholes form when moisture seeps into road cracks, freezes, expands and then melts, leaving holes, pits and cracks.