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79th Motorcycle Rally wraps up - final HP report.

79th Motorcycle Rally wraps up - final HP report.

Highway Patrol releases final report for 79th Rally


Gary Matthews - August 11, 2019

STURGIS, S.D. - The South Dakota Highway Patrol has released its final rally report for this year and it shows an increase in drug and DUI arrests, but a decrease in the number of fatal and injury accidents.

Although there were accidents in the days ahead of the official start of the rally, they are not included in the Highway Patrol's report.

The patrol says two people have died due to crashes during the rally reporting period and there were 52 injury accidents. That is down from last year's 56.

In the past 24 hours, the patrol responded to four injury crashes. In one of those crashes, a 51-year-old male driver of a motorcycle suffered life-threatening injuries when he was involved in a crash with three other motorcycles on Highway 16 A east of Custer.

The patrol also reported an uptick in the number of DUI arrests this year. There were 171 arrests this year - up from last year's 149. Felony drug arrests were also up -- 131 compared to last year's 77.

Here is a synopsis of the crashes from the final report:

At 12:15 p.m., Saturday, South Dakota Highway 87, mile marker 54, 10 miles east of Custer: A motorcycle was southbound when the driver swerved to avoid a collision with a motorcycle ahead of him which had made a sudden stop. The first motorcycle went into the ditch. The male driver, 49, suffered minor injuries. He was wearing a helmet.

At 1:05 p.m., Saturday, South Dakota Highway 248, mile marker 168, five miles east of Kadoka: A motorcycle was eastbound when the driver lost control in a construction zone. Both occupants were thrown from the motorcycle. The male driver, 27, suffered serious non-life threatening injuries. The female passenger, 26, sustained minor injuries. Neither was wearing a helmet.

At 4 p.m., Saturday, U.S. Highway 16A, mile marker 27, six mile east of Custer: A Harley Davidson motorcycle was westbound when it crossed into the eastbound lane. The motorcycle collided with an eastbound Ducati motorcycle and an eastbound Yamaha motorcycle then rear-ended the Ducati.  The two Harley Davidson passengers – the male driver, 59, and the female passenger, 58, both suffered minor injuries. The 51-year-old male driver of the Ducati motorcycle sustained life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Yamaha motorcycle, a 28-year-old male, had minor injuries. All four people involved were wearing helmets.

At 3:43 a.m. Sunday, near the intersection of North Elk Vale Road and Elk Creek Road, nine miles north of Rapid City: A male motorcycle driver had lost control on the uneven road surface. The driver, 64, was not injured. The female passenger, 46, sustained minor injuries. Neither was wearing a helmet.



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