By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — A 19-year-old man from Colfax died August 12 when the motorcycle he was driving failed to negotiate a turn on County Highway M just north of Colfax.
The motorcycle operator was identified as Michael J. Larson of rural Colfax.
According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, at about 1:48 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12, a Colfax police officer had attempted to make a traffic stop involving a motorcycle in the Village of Colfax.
Instead of stopping, the motorcycle driver increased his speed and proceeded north on Highway M at a high rate of speed.
Eyewitnesses reported to the Colfax Messenger office that they either saw or heard a motorcycle at that time going east on Railroad Avenue traveling at what appeared to be faster than the posted speed limit. The cycle could then be heard heading north on Highway M.
According to the sheriff’s department news release, the operator of the motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve on Highway M about three-fourths of a mile north of state Highway 40 in the Town of Colfax, entered the west ditch and struck some trees.
Larson was ejected from the motorcycle and suffered extensive trauma. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Colfax Rescue Squad, the Colfax Fire Department, the Mayo Health Systems helicopter, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the scene of the accident.
At press time, Colfax Police Chief Bill Anderson was not available for comment.
Police Chief Anderson was out of the office on Wednesday, the day after the accident, and the Colfax Messenger learned during a telephone call to the Colfax Police Department on Thursday that the police chief would not be back in the office until the following Tuesday.
According to the news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, Larson was wearing a helmet.