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Motorcycle passenger, 62, dies after weekend crash west of Lynden

A Surrey, B.C., woman has died after a weekend crash in rural Whatcom County.

Beverly G. Raginski, 62, had been a passenger on the back of a gray 2005 Triumph motorcycle Saturday morning, Sept. 27. Her husband, Michael S. Caldwell, 61, was driving east on West Badger Road when a southbound ’99 Chevrolet K1 pickup drove past a stop sign at Sunrise Road, about five miles west of Lynden, according to the Washington State Patrol. The Triumph crashed into the passenger side of the pickup at 8:54 am.

Raginski and Caldwell were rushed to St. Joseph hospital, but injuries to Raginski’s neck and chest proved fatal. Caldwell suffered broken bones but survived. Both wore helmets.

The pickup driver, Derek Gary Tiemersma, 22, of Blaine, wasn’t harmed. Detectives believe he “full-on ran through” the stop sign, said Trooper Mark Francis — though that act alone wouldn’t be enough to charge him with vehicular homicide.

“Our legislators never made running a stop sign a criminal act,” Francis said. “It’s an infraction.”

Troopers will need to determine if Tiemersma had been driving recklessly beforehand, Francis said. Initial tests for drugs and alcohol came up negative. On Monday, troopers said it could take weeks for authorities to make a decision on what criminal charges, if any, Tiemersma faces.

“We want to investigate this as thoroughly as possible,” Francis said.

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