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Six Dead in Unprecedented String of Biketoberfest Motorcycle Accidents

Six people had died because of motorcycle-related accidents at Biketoberfest over the weekend, and that represents the highest number of fatalities for Biketoberfest in the last five years.

Five of the six people killed since Biketoberfest 2011 began over the weekend were riding motorcycles and one man was riding a motorized bicycle that crashed into a motorcycle according to authorities.

Photo by Holly Marcus

Perhaps not surprisingly, none of the victims were wearing helmets according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The first two riders killed Sunday were struck in a hit-and-run accident by a driver at around 4:30 a.m. according to Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant Kim Montes.

Montes said the driver of a Ford Explorer struck the rear of one motorcycle carrying 32-year-old Allison Sellers of Sanford and then fled the scene. The driver of the motorcycle was also killed, but officials have yet to release his name. The driver of the bike was run over by at least two vehicles after the hit-and-run and Sellers was thrown onto the shoulder.

Police later found the Explorer broken down five miles away and questioned a woman they believe was involved in the deaths, but her identity is still unknown.

Officials said the driver of a car trying to avoid the crash went off the road, hit a tree and caught fire, but Montes said the occupants escaped from their car.

Two other two biker deaths happened that same evening around 5:30 p.m.. Assistant Police Chief Wayne Miller said a man and a woman on a motorcycle were killed at the scene when their bike collided with a small pickup truck. The identities of the motorcyclists and the driver of the truck were not released, and officials said it’s not yet clear which one of the two victims was driving the motorcycle. The pair were killed when they were thrown from the motorcycle, but the driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries.

A day earlier, 50-year-old Shirley Boone of Oklahoma died when the motorcycle on which she was a passenger skidded off the road. The driver of the that bike, Robert K. Jackson, 58, lost control of the bike and was critically injured as well.

The first bike-related death happened on Thursday, and witnesses said Rufus Jones, 48, had been weaving in and out of traffic on a motorized bicycle before being struck by a motorcycle driven by Scott Spencer, 56, of Ormond Beach, Florida. Spencer suffered only minor injuries.

One person died from a motorcycle-related accident during Biketoberfest in 2009 and two people were killed in motorcycle-related injuries in Biketoberfest 2008. In 2007, no traffic deaths were reported during the event, while five people died during Biktoberfest 2005.

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