(SD)-Rally Suffers 4th Traffic Death, Attendance Still Up From 2017
STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - STURGIS......AUG 9
The sixth day of the 78th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally brought the year's 4th Rally-related traffic death, the same as this time in last year's event.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol says a 39-year old man whose identity has not been released died about 6:30 Wednesday evening when his a westbound motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve on Sturgis Road near an intersection a mile west of Blackhawk.
The motorcycle went off the roadway into the north ditch and down an embankment through a fence. The driver, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Patrol has also released the identities of the first two people killed in traffic accidents related to this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
56 -year old James Barbier of Aurora, Colorado, died Saturday afternoon when his motorcycle missed a curve on Highway 85 near Cheyenne Crossing and he was ejected after going into a ditch and hitting a fence. He was not wearing a helmet.
53-year-old Craig Carrell of Sioux City, Iowa, died Saturday evening near Deadwood when the utility terrain vehicle he was driving failed to make a curve and rolled. Carrell was wearing a seat belt but not a helmet.
The name of the third fatality of the rally has not yet been released. It was a 63-year old man who died when his motorcycle missed a curve on the I-90 access road west of Piedmont, hit a pole, and rolled. He also was not wearing a helmet.
Attendance at the Rally continues run ahead of last year's pace. As of 6:00 a-m on Thursday, South Dakota Dept of Transportation traffic counters show 342,016 vehicles had entered the city, up 5.1% or 16,462 more than last year for the first 6 days.
Attendance on Wednesday topped 60,000 for the second straight day and third time this year, coming in at 60,608 for an increase of 11.4% from last year - the second day with a double-digit increase.
South Dakota Highway Patrol numbers show that the number of drug arrests continues to top last year while the number of drunk driving arrests is down. Through 6 am Thursday, there had been 46 felony drug arrests, 9 more than a year ago, and 112 misdemeanor drug arrests, 12 more than last year.
There have been 95 arrests for drunk or drugged driving, almost 17% fewer than last year. The number of injury accidents is down sharply from 51 to 36, but the 38 non-injury accidents is 5 more.
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