The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating yet another fatal motorcycle crash, this one having occurred Thursday evening. It was the fifth fatality from crashes involving a motorcycle in the past week, and the second on Thursday alone.
The Star Tribune identifies the rider as a Patrick Rix, 42, of Duluth. KSTP said he apparently lost control of his cycle while accelerating to merge onto the entrance ramp and struck the car in front of him. He was riding with a group at the time. The two right lanes of the freeway were closed for construction at the time.
The patrol said the crash happened near Dowling Avenue North on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis around 9:30 p.m., creating a backup on the busy highway for several hours. Rix was not wearing a helmet, and it was not known if alcohol was involved, the patrol added.
A three-vehicle crash took the life of another motorcycle rider in Burnsville Thursday morning. According to the State Patrol, the motorcyclist, identified as Gregory Cox, 55, of Burnsville, was northbound on Interstate 35W. Around 8:20 a.m., the driver sideswiped an SUV, then was struck by a second SUV, the State Patrol says. The drivers of both vehicles – Elizabeth Peterson, 65, of Lonsdale; and Steven Amoapim-Usher, 29, of St. Louis Park – were uninjured. KARE reported the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.
At least 28 people have been injured in at least 33 accidents in Minnesota within the past week, according to statistics from the Department of Public Safety. The DPS notes that the number of motorcycle fatalities has increased from 55 deaths in 2012 to 60 deaths in 2013. The number of deaths involving motorcyclists hitting deer on the road is also on the rise.
The Department of Public Safety says there has been a marked increase in motorcycle ridership in Minnesota. The patrol reminds motorists to be aware of the cyclists that share the road by routinely checking blind spots, giving other motorists room, and always looking twice when going through an intersection.