Rochester Motorcycle Fatality Adds to Statewide Tally

The number of motorcycle fatalities continues to grow with the two most recent crashes resulting in the death of the victims.

The first crash occurred in Goodhue County when a motorcycle took a sharp curve too fast and struck a road sign on County Road 11, which is approximately 10 miles west of Pine Island.

The victim was 55-Year-Old Raymond Bartz of West Concord. He was wearing his helmet at the time of the crash.

Bartz made for the 10th person to be killed in a motorcycle accident within two weeks.

June through September tends to be the deadliest months for motorcyclists in the states, according to the Department of Public Safety. In June alone, there were ten killed. In 2012, there was a total of 55 deaths.

Also on Sunday, Rochester Police reported an accident along 23rd Street SE at around 12:45 a.m. The victim was Matthew J. Gerwill. Gerwill was taken to the hospital with critical injuries and died later that day.

Police said that he also took a corner and lost control. Gerwill was not wearing a helmet and sustained fatal head injuries. Police said had he been wearing a helmet he may have survived.

Of the 26 motorcycle fatalities that have happened so far in 2013, 18 of the riders were not wearing their helmets. While adult riders are not required to wear helmets within the state, the Department of Public Safety suggests everyone wear them, as well as brightly colored gear to increase visibility. Although some accidents are single motorcycle accidents others are due to the negligence of motorists.

Motorists tend to not see motorcyclists when they are changing lanes or entering an intersection. T-bone crashes are very common between motor vehicles and motorcycles, especially in intersections.

There has been a bill pursued that is designed to coax riders to wear their helmets by having insurance companies raise premiums for riders that wish to ride without their helmets. That way the rider takes personal responsibility and pays for insurance that ensures they are taken care of and that their family is taken care of in case there is a terrible accident.

Nonetheless, accidents between motor vehicles and motorcycles make up a number of wrongful death and personal injury cases in Minnesota as well.