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North Dakota couple found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning at rally campground
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North Dakota couple found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning at rally campground

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STURGIS | A man and woman from North Dakota died of carbon monoxide poisoning in their makeshift camper at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, bringing the 2019 rally-related death toll from asphyxiation to three.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin identified the couple as Daniel Baker, 55, of Arnegard and Donna Cuccia, 58, of Turtle Lake.

Merwin said authorities discovered the bodies inside an enclosed trailer at the Lamphere Ranch campground east of Sturgis on Monday.

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"A relative had called, because they hadn't come home," Merwin said. "That's when we went out and looked."

Merwin said the couple had used the trailer to haul a motorcycle to the rally, then placed a mattress on the floor along with a gas-powered generator to power a cooling fan. The generator had run out of gas by the time the bodies were discovered, Merwin said.

Earlier last week, an Omaha, Neb., man died from asphyxiation at the Days End Campground in Sturgis. A broken exhaust pipe from a motor home’s external auxiliary generator allowed carbon monoxide to enter the man’s sleeping space inside the motor home.

The two deaths mark the fifth and sixth overall fatalities, including three traffic deaths, attributed to the 2019 rally recorded thus far.

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