2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Man Dies, Several Injured in Crash

by Caitlin Berard

Since 1938, Sturgis has held the position of the absolute pinnacle of motorcycle rallies. Every year, hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts flock to South Dakota for the “World’s Largest Biker Rally,” where they spend 10 days attending competitions, concerts, stunt shows, and, of course, admire the countless motorcycles.

That said, the massive gathering of two-wheeled vehicles also comes with a number of injuries and even deaths every year. And this year, the first death was just recorded. Just one day into the 82nd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, two motorcycles collided, resulting in the death of one driver and the hospitalization of another.

At a Glance:

  • Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began on August 5 and stretches to the 14th
  • DUIs, accidents, and injuries are a common occurrence at Sturgis
  • Day 2 of the rally saw the death of one attendee and the hospitalization of another

Motorcycle Wreck at Sturgis Results in Hospitalization and Death

According to police at the scene, both bikes were headed west when one slowed down and was hit from behind by the other. The 58-year-old rider in the front was taken to a nearby hospital where he tragically died.

The 68-year-old rider who hit the other suffered injuries as well. Thankfully, however, they weren’t life-threatening and he’s expected to make a full recovery. Neither rider was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Unfortunately, Sturgis is no stranger to such events. Last year’s event also saw a fatality by Sunday morning, and non-fatal injuries and accidents are even more common. The total injury count from 2021 came to nine, and this year’s accidents currently sit at a count of eight, four of which resulted in injury.

Like any festival, attendees at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are welcome to enjoy alcoholic beverages. Because of the nature of Sturgis, however, DUIs are a common occurrence. As of Sunday morning, over 23 DUI arrests had occurred at the rally, in addition to 16 misdemeanor drug arrests.

In an effort to keep attendees and organizers safe, Highway Patrol has issued 196 citations and 706 warnings to riders in the area.

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Sees Four Injury Crashes Within First Day

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicked off on Friday (August 5), and by Saturday, eight accidents had occurred, one of which being the fatal wreck detailed above. Though the others didn’t result in death, many of the riders involved were seriously injured.

On Saturday afternoon, a rider was traveling down the highway when he struck a guardrail and drove into a ditch. The 46-year-old driver was riding without a helmet when he was thrown from the vehicle. He was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Later, a rider lost control in an intersection and collided with another driver. The 66-year-old driver who lost control suffered severe injuries and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, he was wearing a helmet. Neither the driver of the other motorcycle nor his passenger were injured.

As night fell on Saturday, a Ford Expedition hit a 60-year-old rider and his passenger, both of whom were transported to a hospital with minor injuries. And a little after 2:00 am on Sunday, a rider struck a speed limit sign while entering a median. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.