STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — Data from the third official day of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally brings a rise in citations and crashes, including two deaths.

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety releases a Sturgis Rally Tally – a 24-hour (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.) recap for crashes, DUI arrests, drug arrests, citations and warnings for both Sturgis and the Rapid City district. 

Note: Rally Tally numbers from DPS do not include data from the Rally’s official opening day Friday, Aug. 4.

This is the second batch of data delivered on the rally thus far and brought increases in the following:

  • +11 DUIs
  • +26 Misdemeanor drug arrests
  • +8 Felony drug arrests
  • +198 Total citations
  • +12 Non-injury crashes
  • +18 Injury crashes
  • +2 Fatal crashes
  • +2 Fatalities


Two fatal crashes were reported on August 6, both in Sturgis District.

Crash #1

At 9:49 p.m. on Sunday, August 6 on I-90, DPS says a 2021 Harley Davidson motorcycle traveling westbound braked for an unknown reason, and was hit from behind by a 2003 Chevy Express Van near mile-marker 36. A 2003 Harley Davidson with a side car, also traveling westbound, was unable to change course and hit the van. A 2023 Harley Davidson then struck the debris and crashed.

The passenger on the 2003 Harley, a 54-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Everyone else involved received either serious non-life-threatening injuries, or minor injuries.

DPS says those on the 2003 and 2021 motorcycles were wearing helmets, while those on the 2023 motorcycle were not.

Crash #2

At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 6, DPS says a 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle traveling east on US Highway 14A near mile-marker 43 failed to navigate a curve, crossing the center line and entering the north ditch before tipping over.

The 41-year-old driver was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to these two fatal crashes, there were 16 more which resulted in injuries.

Of these additional 16, four involved wildlife in some fashion.

A driver on a 2017 Harley Davidson hit an antelope on the road on S.D. Highway 20 near mile-marker 53.7, receiving serious non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was not wearing a helmet.

Two more drivers, one on a 2016 Victory on US Highway 16A and the other on a 2014 Harley along Sylvan Lake Road, hit deer. The 2014 Harley was then hit by a 2009 Harley which was unable to avoid the impact. In each incident, none of the drivers were wearing helmets and injuries were sustained.

The 4th incident occurred along Old Hill City Road when the driver of a 2023 Harley lost control when a deer ran out in front of the motorcycle. The driver, who was wearing a helmet, fell off and received serious non-life-threatening injuries.