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1 dead after car collides with motorcycle in Wright County

Wright County sheriff's officials say 39-year-old William Schwandt was riding his Harley down County Road 37 when a vehicle pulled out in front of him.

MAPLE LAKE, Minn. — Editor's note: the video above first aired April 19, 2019. 

A fatal collision between a car and a motorcycle in Wright County Monday underlines the importance of awareness by those operating on both four, and two wheels. 

The Wright County Sheriff's Office says deputies were dispatched to the intersection of County Roads 12 and 37 just after 4 p.m. on reports of a two vehicle crash. When they arrived deputies learned that a vehicle driven by a 16-year-old was traveling north when the young man stopped at a stop sign. 

Interviews with witnesses indicate the teen then pulled out on County Road 37 in front of a motorcycle ridden by 39-year-old William Schwandt. The motorcycle then collided with the driver's side door of the car.

Schwandt was transported to a hospital in Buffalo where he was declared deceased. 

At this point it is unclear if any criminal charges will be filed in the fatal crash. 

Safety  officials say the arrival of warmer weather is often the most dangerous time of the year when it comes to motorcycle crashes. Riders are getting used to being on two wheels after a long winter off, and motorists are becoming reacquainted with motorcycles on the road. 

Drivers are encouraged to be alert and watch for motorcycles, looking twice before changing lanes or turning. Motorcyclists are urged to:

  • Keep their gaze trained on where they want to go.
  • Assume invisibility – Motorcyclists should never assume another driver is aware of their presence.
  • Use both brakes - riders often ten to rely on their rear brake, but the front provides greater stopping power. Learn to apply it slowly and gradually for greater control. 
  • Be aware of animals and the dangers they present
  • Look out for sand on the road - crews may not have swept yet

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