With the exception of the death of one pedestrian early Sunday morning, law enforcement officials say last weekend’s Fall Ride was a relatively safe edition of the 29th annual gathering of thousands of motorcyclists in and around Tomahawk.
Although the Wisconsin State Patrol, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and the Tomahawk Police Department are still compiling final numbers on the number of arrests and citations issued for the weekend, all three departments characterized the event as one of the safest in recent memory.
One person, 33-year old Shane B. Schmidt of Hay Market, Va., formerly of Wausau, died hours after being struck by a car as he was attempting to cross County Road A south of County Road U in the Town of Bradley north of Tomahawk. According to reports from the LCSD, he was attempting to get to a bar and may have been under the influence of alcohol when he was struck.
Lt. Tim Fischer of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department reported that an early study of the county’s weekend reports showed three other crashes that did involve motorcycles, but there were no life-threatening injuries in any of them. Within the Tomahawk city limits, six crashes were reported but none involved serious injuries.
Fischer added that while there were no final numbers as of Tuesday morning, the number of drunk driving arrests were higher this year. Both the LCSD and TPD have reported that overall arrests appeared to be down this year, however.
In addition to increased patrols by the LCSD and Tomahawk Police, the Wisconsin Highway Patrol had 10 motorcycle officers patrolling the area in 12-hour shifts.