Man dies in motorcycle accident

June 8, 2012

Another unhelmeted motorcycle rider died June 2 in an accident on Old State Road near Ziggy Road in Surrey Township.

Ralph Smith, 63, of East Lansing, died after his motorcycle left the road. He was the second Clare County motorcycle rider legally riding without a helmet to die since the law changed April 12.

Mark Simmons, 39, of Farwell was the first in Clare County and the fourth recorded unhelmeted death in Michigan. He died in an accident on Old State Avenue near the White Birch Subdivision on May 22.

According to a press release from the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, Smith died at the scene. It was not known if alcohol was a factor in the accident, but investigators are looking for a gray/silver van style vehicle that left the accident scene. It is not known if the vehicle was involved in the accident. Officers said it appeared that Smith had lost control of the motorcycle and went off the road.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by Surrey Township and Lincoln Township Fire Departments and Mobile Medical Response.

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