Two bikers, ages 51 and 58, were killed in separate crashes during the opening weekend of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, officials say.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is held annually in Sturgis, South Dakota, and brings in hundreds of thousands of bikers.
The first fatal crash occurred on Saturday, Aug. 6, about 18 miles west of Hayes, according to the state’s highway patrol. A 2013 Harley-Davidson FLHX was traveling on South Dakota Highway 34 when it rear-ended a motorcycle of the same model that had slowed.
Officials said the 58-year-old male driver of the first motorcycle died at a Rapid City hospital. He was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the other motorcycle suffered non-life threatening injuries.
A 51-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a second crash on Sunday, Aug. 7, near Summerset, highway patrol officers said. A separate driver in a 1986 Honda GLI200 swerved to avoid an SUV, and he was thrown from his bike.
A man riding a 2005 Harley Davidson FLHRS Road King hit the first motorcycle that was lying in the road, causing him to crash, according to highway patrol. The motorcyclist on the Harley, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
The Honda biker had serious, non-life threatening injuries and the SUV driver was uninjured.
The identities of the two fatal victims have not been publicly disclosed as of Aug. 9.
The bike rally takes place Aug. 5-14. More than 179,000 vehicles arrived for the first three days of the event, according to the Rapid City Journal.