Sheriff urges motorcyclists to wear helmetsA deadly summer on Goodhue County roads continued Tuesday when two people were killed in a rural Wanamingo motorcycle crash.
By: Mike Longaecker, The Republican Eagle
A deadly summer on Goodhue County roads continued Tuesday when two people were killed in a rural Wanamingo motorcycle crash.
The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office said Arnold A. Hinrichs Jr., 51, South St. Paul, was killed when the motorcycle he was driving collided with a horse trailer being pulled by a tractor. Hinrichs and his passenger, Paula Ashton, 42, rural Farmington, Minn., both were pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities.
The driver of the tractor, James Kyllo, 54, rural Wanamingo, was not injured.
Authorities were called to the scene at 3:50 p.m. on County Road 1 in Wanamingo Township.
According to reports, Kyllo's southbound tractor was turning left on County Road 1 into a driveway when the trailing motorcycle struck the trailer. Sheriff's deputies said improper passing was a factor in the crash.
Neither victim was wearing a helmet.
Tuesday's incident marked the third Goodhue County motorcycle fatality since July 10, when a Cottage Grove man died in a Highway 19 crash in Vasa Township.
Motorcyclists in two other July county crashes received serious injuries.
Sheriff Dean Albers said too many of the motorcycle crashes have involved riders not wearing helmets.
"I think they ought to wear helmets," he said Wednesday. "I don't think there's any reason not to. It's just recklessness, in my opinion."
Albers said the heightened number of Goodhue County motorcycle crashes may be an outgrowth of more motorcyclists taking to the road. He said that includes some older riders who may want to recapture their youth through the motorcycling experience.
"It's kind of nostalgic and they enjoy it," Albers said. "There's just so many more out there."
Still, he said motorcyclists and other motorists must be cognizant of each other's presence on the road.
An Iowa man also was killed July 26 in a two-vehicle Highway 61 crash in Wacouta Township involving a compact car and a Chevrolet Suburban.
"People on motorcycles need to be more cautious and drivers in cars need to be more cautious," he said.
The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office was assisted Tuesday by the Wanamingo first responders, Zumbrota ambulance, Kenyon ambulance, Mayo One and the Minnesota State Patrol.