MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota State Patrol says speed was a key factor in a fatal motorcycle crash on eastbound I-394 near Highway 100 Tuesday night..
State Patrol Lt. Jason Bartell says 30-year-old Anand Baskaran of East Northport, New York lost control of his motorcycle and crashed just before 10 p.m. and was thrown from his 2009 Honda. Baskaran died of his injuries.
At least three witnesses say the victim and another rider were going between 100 and 120 miles per hour before Baskaran crashed. The other rider left the scene and investigators say they don't have many leads to identify that person, other than the fact that he or she may have been riding a black Honda.
Police say witnesses reported seeing Baskaran wearing a helmet as he rode his motorcycle. However, the first people to reach the scene of the crash, including a state trooper, say he was not wearing a helmet, according to authorities. Police later recovered a helmet at the scene.
Bartell says speed was the major factor in last night's crash, and believes it's likely that Baskaran wouldn't have survived even if he was wearing a helmet.
"You lose control and fall off that motorcycle at 100, 120 miles per hour whether you're wearing a helmet or not, the results are going to be pretty tragic," he said.
Witnesses described seeing Baskaran hit a pothole or crack in the Interstate before his bike went down. Poor road conditions are just one hazard of spring riding, according to Bartell. Snow, ice patches and sand can make riding a motorcycle this early very treacherous.