The Billings Police Department is investigating a string of motorcycle wrecks over the past few days, two of which resulted in deaths.
The crashes occurred over a period of four days, with the most recent on Monday. Two fatal crashes occurred within the city June 16. Monday’s crash took place south of Billings on Blue Creek Road and resulted in one person being hospitalized with serious injuries.
“It is too early in the crash investigations to make speculations on drugs or alcohol, but initial reports of the fatal crashes indicated that motorcycle speed was a factor,” BPD Lt. Matt Lennick told the Gazette via email on Tuesday.
Emergency crews responded to a crash June 16 at Central Avenue and 27th Street West, according to a statement posted to social media by BPD, when a motorcycle collided with a vehicle. One man, the motorcyclist was hospitalized with serious injuries and was eventually pronounced dead. Investigators had westbound lanes on Central shut down for several hours.
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Yellowstone County Deputy Coroner Rich Hoffman identified the man Tuesday as Joshua Edward Keller, 33. He was a Billings resident. Keller died of multiple blunt force injuries from the crash, Hoffman said.
The second fatal crash took place later that same day on Sixth Avenue North and North 13th Street, in the industrial area of Downtown Billings. Someone was reportedly traveling on a motorcycle south on Main Street at speeds of over 100 mph, according to BPD. The driver was thrown from the motorcycle when the wreck occurred.
Hoffman told the Gazette that the motorcyclist was transported to the hospital, where he later died. He identified the man as 37-year-old Jason Ray Klingseisen, also of Billings. Hoffman said that both men were wearing helmets at the time of the crashes.
A motorcyclist was hospitalized Monday after colliding with a pickup truck at Blue Creek Road and Jellison Road. The motorcyclist’s injuries were serious, according to BPD.
Despite the series of deadly crashes in Billings, fatalities on Montana’s roads are down compared to this same time last year. At least 61 people have died in crashes so far this year in Montana, according to the latest data from Montana Highway Patrol. This is a decrease from 92 reported by mid-June 2021.
At least four people have died in crashes involving motorcycles so far in 2022, according to preliminary MHP crash data.