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Two injured in motorcycle-deer crash in Becker County

Two Dassel motorcyclists were taken to the Detroit Lakes hospital after they collided with a deer in Becker County Monday noon.

According to the Becker County Sheriff's Department, the unnamed man and woman struck the deer on Becker County 39, about two miles north of Highway 34 near Ponsford.

The 47-year-old male driver and 49-year-old female passenger "sustained serious injuries and were transported to area hospitals, the Becker County Sheriffs Department said in a news release.

The woman was airlifted to Essentia in Fargo. The man was taken by ground ambulance to Essentia in Detroit Lakes and later taken to Fargo.

Their identities are not being released at this time.

A number of deer-motorcycle incidents have been reported recently in Becker and Hubbard counties. But motorcycle fatalities have dropped overall on Minnesota highways this year.

At least 22 motorcyclists have been killed on Minnesota roads to-date in 2011, according to preliminary reports from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety.

The 22 deaths reflect a nearly 30 percent increase in deaths compared to 17 at this time in 2010. Last year there was a total of 45 rider deaths, a 15 percent drop from 53 in 2009. In 2008, the 74 deaths marked a 24-year high in riders killed. Riders ages 40-64 accounted for 64 percent of deaths in 2010.

"A big concern is that August and September are typically high-traffic and high-fatal months for riders," says Bill Shaffer, DPS Office of Traffic Safety motorcycle program coordinator. "Riders and motorists need to share the road and be watchful of each other."

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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