Northland Motorcycle Deaths Up Significantly From 2014

Minnesota Fatalities Nearing 2014 Total, Wisconsin Fatalities Pass Last Year's Count

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Forty-four lives have been taken so far this year in motorcycle accidents in Minnesota.

That’s compared to last year, where the state saw a total of 46 motorcycle fatalities.

“Good night to take a bike ride and watch some crashes up in Proctor,” said Dan Russell in an interview with FOX 21 Saturday, August 1.

Just hours later, the 51–year–old died in a motorcycle crash of his own.

“He went beyond his duty to make people happy,” said Jason Androsky, Russell’s nephew.

Androsky says his uncle was a celebrity in the motorcycle community.

“Everyone knew him and everyone respected him,” Adrosky added.

Russell was on his way home from the races at the Proctor Speedway when the crash occurred.

He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

“The number one cause of death for motorcyclists in crashes are head injuries,” explained Motor Officer Brad Esler with the Superior Police Department.

For Androsky, the tragic accident raised a life–saving question.

“We are forced to wear our seatbelts, we can’t text and drive without getting a fine, what’s the difference between you and I driving a car and them riding a motorcycle? There is not difference.”

Androsky believes motorcyclists should be required by state law to wear a helmet.

“It’s not guaranteed they’re going to walk, they could have a broken neck or a broken back or whatever the case is, but at least they’d be alive,” he explained.

Other bikers say the option to do so is a constitutional right.

“It comes down to – we live in a free country, and it does end up being personal choice,” said Kyle Allen at Aerostitch.

But say it’s a choice worth making.

“I choose to wear a helmet because it does keep me safe and provides me peace of mind that I know I’m going to be as safe as I can be on the road,” Allen described.

“Whether or not it’s a law, it should be common sense,” said Officer Esler.

In both Minnesota and Wisconsin, motorcyclists are not required to wear helmets, unless they only have a permit or are under the age of 18.

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