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Motorcycle Accident Deaths

Two dead in separate motorcycle accidents
By: Peter Hirschfield

"Separate motorcycle accidents claimed the lives of two Vermonters Tuesday evening, adding to the state's increasing toll of motorcycle deaths.

Pamela Larue, 49, of Lyndonville, died from injuries she suffered when she collided with a Ford F250 pickup truck driven by 29-year-old Philip Rindelhardt, also of Lyndonville. Police said that shortly after 4:30 p.m., Rindelhardt swerved into the path of Larue's Kawasaki LTD 550 Motorcycle to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of him on Memorial Drive near the South Wheelock Road junction in Lyndonville.

Larue was transported to Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury and then taken by helicopter to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Larue was wearing a helmet, police said.

Three and a half hours later, a Randolph man lost control of his 2004 Yamaha Warrior while rounding a curve on Route 12A in Braintree. Ronald Dessaint, 34, had passed several vehicles before losing control and striking a guardrail on the west side of the road, according to witnesses. A White River Valley Ambulance crewman pronounced Dessaint dead shortly after 10 p.m. Dessaint also was wearing a helmet.

Motorcycle deaths have spiked in Vermont over the past three years, according to state traffic statistics. In 2003, three motorcyclists died in accidents on Vermont roadways. In 2004, the number jumped to 11, and last year 14 riders were killed. That increase in deaths came despite a modest drop in the number of motorcycles regis-tered with the Department of Motor Vehicles."

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