A fatal crash Saturday on Hwy. 169 marked the fifth fatality on Minnesota roads in fewer than 24 hours.
It happened about 1 p.m. when motorcyclist Leroy Moyer, 72, of Elk River tried to avoid colliding with stopped traffic northbound on Hwy. 169 and instead rear-ended a truck, according to the State Patrol.
He was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with noncritical injuries, but his wife, Louise Moyer, 63, a passenger on the bike, was killed. Both were wearing helmets.
"It's troubling to see that many happen," State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske said of the rash of accidents. "Summer weekends can be very, very deadly."
More summer travel means more motorists, increasing the likelihood of accidents, he warned. He added that drivers need to buckle up, pay attention while driving, follow speed limits, and not drink and drive.
The four other fatal crashes happened between Friday night and early Saturday morning:
• About 4 p.m. Friday in southern Minnesota, a semitrailer truck's trailer crossed the centerline of Hwy. 76 in Houston County and struck an oncoming pickup truck, killing the driver, Dennis Twite, 54, of Caledonia.
• A half-hour later in Waseca County, a 35-year-old New Ulm man lost control of his car on Hwy. 14, colliding with two parked semis, according to the State Patrol. Driver Tyson Raitz, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, was killed.
•About 11 p.m. in central Minnesota, Cynthia Zillmer, 57, of Foley died after the SUV she was driving crossed the centerline of Hwy. 25 and struck a semi head-on.
• At 9:15 a.m. Saturday on Hwy. 55 in Maple Lake, the State Patrol says Arnold Spike, 81, of Maple Lake pulled out in front of another car and crashed. His wife, 77, Lila Spike, was killed. He was hospitalized with noncritical injuries.