One motorcycle rider was killed and his friend seriously injured when the two in turn struck the same car on County N in the town of Wheaton Monday night.
Killed was Chad Knutson, 24, of Colfax, according to the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department. The other motorcycle rider was identified as Kyle Dierich, 25, of the Colfax area. The driver of the car, identified as Timothy Girard, 39, was also injured.
According to the Sheriff’s Department:
A motorist saw two motorcycles traveling at extremely high speed westbound on County N just outside the Chippewa Falls city limits at about 10:20 p.m. The witness estimated they were going over 120 miles per hour when they passed him.
The driver continued on and found a disabled vehicle with severe damage in the road on County N.
Investigation showed one of the motorcycles struck the Saturn four-door vehicle, which was travelling east on County N, nearly head-on. Knutson, who was the operator of that motorcycle, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene.
Girard, the driver of the vehicle, had a serious leg injury and managed to get out of the vehicle and crawl away from the car into a nearby driveway.
Meanwhile, the other motorcycle, operated by Dierich, had been ahead of the one that crashed. When Dierich got to the intersection of County F and County N, he realized his friend Knutson did not show up, so he turned around and headed back east on County N.
Dierich came upon the scene and struck the disabled vehicle in the roadway from the previous crash. Knutson was also ejected from his cycle and was seriously injured, but survived.
In both crashes the cycles were moving at extremely high rates of speed, according to the sheriff’s department.
Dierich and Girard were transported to Mayo Eau Claire, and Dierich was later airlifted to Mayo Rochester.
Dierich had been operating a Suzuki GSX 600 motorcycle and Knutson was operating a Yamaha FZR 600 motorcycle. Both cycles were totaled. The car sustained serious damage.
Both cyclists were wearing helmets, but they came off due to the severity of the crash. Knutson held a cycle instruction permit only, according to the sheriff's department, while Dierich did not have any cycle endorsement for operation.