Two Motorcycle Deaths On First Day Of Sturgis Rally

     The 81st Sturgis Motorcycle Rally got off to a deadly start Friday with 2 fatalities in 2 separate motorcycle accidents in the Black Hills. Names have not been released.

     The first occurred about 11:00 Friday morning on a county road 2-miles southeast of Hill City when a 58-year old man failed to negotiate a curve and went into the ditch.

      The man, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike. He was taken by ambulance to a Rapid City hospital where he later died.

      The second accident occurred less than an hour later on another county road, this one 11-miles south of Sturgis.

      The South Dakota Highway Patrol says a 52-year old man driving a pickup moved to the opposite lane to pass a group of riders and hit another oncoming motorcycle, knocking off both people on the bike 

      The 70-year old male driver of the motorcycle, who was not wearing a helmet, was killed. His 71-year old female passenger, who did have on a helmet, suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries. She was airlifted to a local hospital.

      The Highway Patrol will release its first “Rally Tally” of accidents and criminal activity today. 

      Last year’s Rally in the midst of the Pandemic still drew 420,000 visitors. The prediction for this year is 700,000 despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths from the Delta variant.