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Speed is believed to be cause in motorcyclist’s death Sunday on Mosquito Lake Road

More than 100 motorcyclists pay tribute to Bellingham woman who died Sunday

More than 100 motorcyclists gathered at Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale, Wash., on Thursday, May 23, 2019, to pay tribute to Penny Jefferson – a member of Lummi Nation who died in a motorcycle accident earlier this week.
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More than 100 motorcyclists gathered at Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale, Wash., on Thursday, May 23, 2019, to pay tribute to Penny Jefferson – a member of Lummi Nation who died in a motorcycle accident earlier this week.

A 20-year-old Bellingham woman died Sunday afternoon after the motorcycle she was riding struck a power pole along Mosquito Lake Road. The Washington State Patrol report on the fatal crash listed the cause as speed.

Penny R. Jefferson was riding a green 2014 Kawasaki EX650EF motorcycle at approximately 12:17 p.m. in the 4500 block of Mosquito Lake Road, when she failed to negotiate a curve and struck the power pole, according to the State Patrol. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Jefferson was wearing a helmet, according to the report.

Trooper Heather Axtman told The Bellingham Herald investigators do not have an estimated speed Jefferson was traveling at the time of the crash, yet, but added that neither drugs nor alcohol were believed to have been involved in the incident.

According to a release from the Ferndale School District, Jefferson was a member of the Lummi Nation and graduated from Ferndale High School in 2016. Earlier this year, she was hired to serve as one of the district’s Native American student advisors, providing direct service for students at Ferndale High and Skyline Elementary.

The district said it would have extra support available at both schools for students and staff.

“Penny was an extraordinary individual. She was bright,” Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn said in the release. “She was a leader. She graduated from Ferndale High School and we were fortunate to have her come back to us as a mentor to current students. We were truly blessed to have her as part of our community and we are deeply grieving this loss.”

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission found that impaired driving, speeding and distracted driving all play large roles in fatal crashes on Whatcom County roads.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.

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