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Automobile Collisions / Workers' Compensation

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9 injured, 1 dead in Wisconsin motorcycle gang crash

A yearly get together for a group of riding enthusiasts was shattered by a fatal motorcycle accident. One member a motorcycle gang died and eight others were injured when a car plowed into the bikers riding together in Fond Du Lac County.

The motorcycle crash occurred as the bikers were making an annual "Bridge Run" to the Mackinac Bridge. The out-of-state motorcyclists planned to take a ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee and travel north through Wisconsin to meet a second group of riders.

The gang reached Wisconsin and was traveling along U.S. 151 near rural Taycheedah in Fond Du Lac County. Then, around 3 p.m., a car coming the opposite way crossed into the wrong lane and slammed into the motorcycle group, striking eight of the 10 riders.

One motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the accident scene. Three more motorcyclists were critically hurt and flown to area hospitals. Five additional riders were hospitalized with injuries that were considered non-life-threatening.

All of the motorcyclists were wearing protective head and eye gear when the crash happened.

Rescuers extricated a Calumet County driver from the wrecked car. The 25-year-old was transported by air to a Fond Du Lac medical facility with injuries described as life-threatening..

Sheriff's deputies in Fond Du Lac County have said little more than they are continuing to investigate the motorcycle accident. It is uncertain whether the car driver will be charged with the fatal crash.

Distractions can plague even the most seasoned driver, not just the young and inexperienced. A decision to address a music system, a GPS unit or a cellphone while driving is a risk. The longer a motor vehicle operator ignores driving and focuses on something else, the greater the chance an accident will occur.

The few seconds that a driver shifts attention away from the road can be enough for a vehicle to drift out of its designated path. The results can be destructive for people and property. The criminal and civil penalties for causing a distracted driving accident that harms or kills others are severe.

Source: mlive.com, "Muskegon motorcyclists involved in fatal Wisconsin accident reportedly taking part in annual 'Bridge Run', Ryan Jeltema, June 1, 2012

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