A Twin Cities motorist was unable to avoid a motorcycle passenger thrown to the pavement and fatally struck the woman on a busy road leading in and out of Mount Rushmore National Park, the South Dakota Highway Patrol said Monday.
The three-vehicle crash happened about 3:50 p.m. Sunday on Hwy. 16A, about 2 miles north of Mount Rushmore, according to the patrol.
Traffic in each direction was tied up for nearly two hours as authorities reconstructed the crash near one of the nation's most prominent and historical tourist destinations.
Killed was Nicole L. Dunn, 29, of nearby Rapid City, the patrol said. Dunn was run over by David Leitchman, 60, of Savage.
According to the patrol:
Dunn was riding north on the motorcycle with Ryan Wiechmann, 31, of Rapid City. As Wiechmann moved into the left lane past slower traffic, he ran into a van that was stopped to turn left into a parking lot. Dunn and Wiechmann were thrown from the motorcycle.
Leitchman, heading south in his SUV, "was unable to avoid the passenger from the motorcycle" and hit her, the patrol said.
Wiechmann was hospitalized with noncritical injuries. No one else was hurt.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482