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Texas biker faces DUI after bad wreck

  • Updated

A biker involved in an accident on Highway 34 east of Sturgis has been charged with DUI and vehicular battery in a head-on crash that put several people in the hospital with serious injuries, including one who was sent immediately to surgery.

It was likely the most serious accident of the first weekend of the rally, with no new fatal wrecks reported as of late Sunday.

As is typical of most rallies, a host of DUI arrests, injury collisions and other assorted offenses kept law enforcement in Sturgis and throughout the Rapid City region busy Saturday night.

The collision between three motorcycles on state Highway 34 caused a life-threatening injury to one Oklahoma rider, put three other people in the hospital and left another biker with drunken driving charges.

Authorities reported that Chris Grogan, 39, of Woodward, Okla., was taken to Rapid City Regional by Lifeflight with life-threatening injuries after a head-on collision with Jay Darter, 41. of Paradise, Texas.

Darter, officials said, was riding a 2013 Victory motorcycle westbound on Highway 34 when he crossed the center line and collided head-on with Grogan's eastbound 2014 Hawk motorcycle. Grogan had a 54-year-old passenger, Brigette Baird from Woodward, riding with him when the collision occurred. A third motorcycle ridden by Christian Grogan, of Woodward, collided with both motorcycles after the initial head-on collision, authorities said. 

Christian Grogan and Baird were taken to the Rapid City Regional Hospital with serious, non-life threatening injuries. Darter suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the Sturgis Regional Hospital. Chris Grogan and Baird were still in the hospital as of Sunday afternoon. Chris Grogan was listed in serious condition while Baird was listed in good condition, according to a hospital coordinator at Rapid City Regional Health.

Darter was arrested and charged with DUI and vehicular battery after he was treated, authorities said. Speed was a factor in the collision; no one involved in the collision wore a helmet, the release said.

Edible pot found at rally

Law enforcement officers discovered 1.5 pounds of marijuana and THC edibles in a vehicle, with Colorado license plates, that was pulled over for equipment violations, according to a state press release.

The vehicle was seized and is pending forfeiture through the South Dakota Attorney General's Office.

More rally disorder data

Here is a look at incidents between 6 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, according to a release from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, and Sturgis police. 

  • 33 people were arrested on DUI charges, 30 of them in Sturgis.
  • 11 felony drug arrests were made, three of them in Sturgis.
  • 10 injury accidents occurred, five of them in Sturgis.
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