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Man seriously injured in motorcycle crash

Emergency workers transport a Rosemount, Minn., man to a helicopter after his motorcycle crashed Friday afternoon on Highway 61.

A 51-year-old Rosemount, Minn., man was seriously injured Friday in a Highway 61 motorcycle crash.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Mark A. Wright was northbound on Highway 61 when he lost control of his 2006 Harley Davidson and crashed. He was airlifted from the scene.

Wright's injuries did not appear to be life threatening, troopers reported.

Wright was not wearing a helmet in the 4:25 p.m. crash near County Road 18, according to the State Patrol. Alcohol was not detected in his system.

Friday's incident marks the second serious-injury motorcycle crash during July in the Red Wing area.

Red Wing resident Mark Larson was injured July 2 in a crash on Highway 61 at Frontenac. He continues to recover at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, according to his CaringBridge Web site. Larson also was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Wright's crash occurred on the same day as reports that Minnesota motorcycle deaths are outpacing last year's 24-year high. According to the Department of Public Safety, 27 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota road, compared to 25 at this time last year.

There were 72 motorcyclist fatalities in 2008, the most since 1985. Officials from the department's Office of Traffic Safety said nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle.

"Watch carefully for motorcycle riders this weekend," said Office of Traffic Safety Director Cheri Marti, "and expect to see them throughout the summer and well into the fall."