Princeton man killed in crash is first motorcycle death of 2015

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The state's first motorcycle fatality of the year happened over the weekend.

Neil Larson, 53, of Princeton, died around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, the Sherburne County Sheriff's Office says. He was traveling east on County Road 3 in Blue Hill Township when he ran off the road and hit a mailbox, the state Department of Public Safety said in a news release.

Officials say he wasn't wearing a helmet, and speed appears to be a factor in the crash.

Traffic safety officials are taking this opportunity to remind motorcyclists to be safe on the roads, and for drivers to be aware of motorcyclists now that the spring riding season is well underway.

Motorcycle fatalities were down last year, from 60 in 2013 to 44 in 2014, preliminary records show.

Last year the first rider fatality of the season occurred March 11. The earliest motorcycle fatality on record in the state was Feb. 28, back in 2002, the Department of Safety says.

So far this year, there have been 48 traffic fatalities, which is slightly less than 52 at this time last year, the Towards Zero Deaths initiative notes.

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