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Speed blamed in second fatal motorcycle crash on Mosquito Lake Road in a week

Here’s what’s causing Whatcom’s traffic fatalities

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

For the second time in a week, a motorcycle rider died Sunday, May 26, in a single-vehicle crash along Whatcom County’s Mosquito Lake Road, and for the second time the Washington State Patrol said speed was the cause.

Linda C. Loney, 68 of Granite Falls, died after the motorcycle she was a passenger on collided with a guardrail, according to the State Patrol report on the crash. Gerald F. McConnell, 62 and also of Granite Falls, was driving the 2006 Harley Davidson Fltcuse motorcycle and was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital with injuries he suffered in the crash.

At approximately 11:10 a.m. Sunday, according to the report, McConnell and Loney were traveling southbound in the 3900 block of Mosquito Lake Road, when the motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve. They crossed into the northbound lane before hitting the guardrail.

Both riders were wearing helmets, according to the release, that met U.S. Department of Transportation compliance requirements.

Speeds to fast for conditions were cited as the reason for the crash, according to the report.

One week earlier on March 19, a 20-year-old Bellingham woman also died in a motorcycle accident in the 4500 block of Mosquito Lake Road, approximately 1.8 miles away from the site of Sunday’s crash.

Including those two crashes, there were three fatal collisions on Whatcom County roads in the past week.

Early Saturday, a 25-year-old driver from Sedro-Woolley, who the State Patrol said was intoxicated and speeding, was killed after he hit two parked cars and a tree in the 2300 block of Yew Street Road, just south of Bellingham.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation crash portal, the most recent deaths brings the 2019 number of fatal crashes in Whatcom County to five, though that data did not include a bicyclist that was hit and killed by an Amtrak train March 26 along F Street in Bellingham or a fatal two-car crash May 3 at the Peace Arch Border Crossing.

Information about the helmets’ certification was amended by the Washington State Patrol on May 29, 2019.

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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