Deadly Weekend Leading Up To Sturgis Rally
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
August 05, 2013 3:32 PM
Three people were killed on their way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this weekend. A Brandon couple was also killed on I-29 near Brookings, when their motorcycle was struck head on.
Staying safe on two wheels can be a challenge. And with thousands, upon thousands, of bikers flocking to South Dakota for a fun filled week at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, safety can become an afterthought.
“Everybody has to drive defensive because typically if there’s a crash it’s because somebody failed to comply with one of those rules,” said Lt. Alan Welsh.
Safety reminders bikers have heard before.
“Give yourself some space and just be conscious of the traffic around you,” said Norm Janssen, a biker travelling from Mankato.
“Always look out for each other. Always look out for the people you are with,” said Tommy Abraham, a biker travelling from Ohio.
“The number one thing people can make sure to do, is where your helmet,” said Lt. Welsh.
Bikers come from all over America, and with so many miles under their belts they're sure to see some close calls.
“I've gotten cut off several times today and people just don't pay attention. They look and they just don't see the motorcycles. And then, they think it’s clear, then they cut in front of us and then there is a bike there. And, you almost get injured,” said Abraham.
And that can bring up some tension between bikers and motorists.
“People don't pay attention to motorcycles,” said Abraham. “Pay attention! Just look for us. Everybody knows we're out here.”
“Not to say that vehicles are at fault any more than the motorcycles. Sometimes it’s just a matter that everybody needs to follow the law,” said Lt. Welsh.
For most the pilgrimage to Sturgis becomes a multiple day journey.
“We left Ohio yesterday and we'll be there in a couple of hours,” said Abraham.
But for some, the journey can be their last.
“You know you just have to make a conscious decision to be safe,” said Lt. Welsh.