MD woman dies after collision near Reptile Gardens; 2 others injured

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A Maryland woman has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash Wednesday evening.

She was one of two bikers sent to Rapid City Regional Hospital following a collision with another motorist on U.S. Highway 16 near Reptile Gardens.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol said the bikers were in a “pretty tough condition” at the time of the crash. The 50-year-old woman died at the hospital, and a 48-year-old man was treated for life-threatening injuries. Both motorcyclists are from Maryland.

SDHP Trooper Clay Kartak said one of the bikers was wearing a helmet.

The SDHP said the driver of a 2005 Crown Victoria was headed west on the highway, trying to make a left turn onto Neck Yoke Road. But the driver misjudged the time available to make the turn. That's when the man and woman riding separate motorcycles eastbound on the highway collided with the car. They were both thrown from their bikes.

A 22-year-old Pierre woman was driving the car and sustained minor injuries. She was wearing a seat belt. Two other passengers, both children, were not injured.

The crash happened around 5 p.m., which Kartak said is a time when that area is most congested.

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"With this section of Highway 16, it is very, very busy, and there's a lot of folks; there's a lot of turning traffic, as well as people turning onto Highway 16,” Kartak said. “It gets very congested around five o'clock in the afternoon, and it did cause a few problems getting access to here, but we expect that."

The investigation continues.

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