An accident in Vadnais Heights killed a motorcyclist overnight, adding to what state authorities say is a spike in the death toll among riders this year.
The Minnesota State Patrol says that a rider on a Kawasaki sport bike was headed east on Interstate 694 near Labore Road when the motorcycle hit a piece of tire tread on the freeway. The rider was thrown from the motorcycle and then hit by an SUV, killing the rider.
The rider hasn't been identified, pending notification of next of kin.
The accident marks the 14th motorcyclist death on Minnesota roads in 2012. State officials said Wednesday that number compares to just five fatalities last year. They attribute the spike this year in part to a warm winter that had riders out on the road in March -- and in early fatal accidents.
The Department of Public Safety is urging drivers to seek more training and for other motorists to keep a watchful eye out for motorcycles.