STURGIS, S.D. (KEVN) - Two people were killed in separate crashes Saturday, marking the first fatalities during the 78th Sturgis Rally.
The first crash was about 2:30 p.m. on U.S. Highway 85, 14 miles south of Cheyenne Crossing. A motorcycle rider failed to negotiate a turn, went off the road, into a ditch and through a fence. The biker died at the scene.
The second fatality involved a side-by-side UTV around 7:40 p.m. on Maitland Road, three miles east of Deadwood. The driver couldn’t handle a turn and rolled the UTV. The driver, a 53-year-old man, died on the way to the hospital. A 51-year-old male passenger was seriously injured but expected to live.
Two bikers were killed in a crash with a semi-truck Aug. 2 but that crash was a day before the official start of the Sturgis Rally.
Last year at this time, there were no rally-related deaths.
The six injury crashes so far is on a par with 2017:
• A pickup crashed into the back of a Jeep that slowed for motorcycles; minor injuries.
• A motorcyclist on Interstate 90 cut off another biker, hitting him; minor injuries.
• A pickup driver making a U-turn on Highway 244 near Keystone hit an oncoming motorcycle. The biker has serious, non-life threatening injuries.
• On Interstate 90 in Sturgis: A motorcycle rider tried to turn into a crossover and was hit by another bike. A passenger on the first motorcycle suffered serious non-life threatening injuries.
• A biker lost control of his motorcycle on U.S. Highway 385 south of Lead. He has serious non-life threatening injuries.
• A biker lost control and went off Highway 34 east of Sturgis. He has serious non-life threatening injuries.