Biker Down

A Sibley County farmer is charged in the deaths of two motorcyclists after a trailer he was pulling came off the hitch and rolled into oncoming traffic.

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Author: Dana Thiede

GAYLORD, Minn. — A Sibley County farmer is charged in the deaths of two motorcyclists after a trailer he was pulling came off the hitch and rolled into oncoming traffic.

The criminal complaint filed against 60-year-old Curtis Marc Petzel details how State Patrol reconstruction specialists found that the defendant was using a ball on the hitch of his tractor that was too small, causing the cattle trailer to break away. Investigators say Petzel was also not using the safety chains attached to the trailer, and had no battery in a break-away safety brake system.

Troopers were dispatched to a location on State Highway 19 near Sibley County Road 65 on June 1, after reports of a farm trailer versus motorcylists crash. After arriving on scene investigators learned that a group of riders from Aberdeen, SD on vacation were headed towards Treasure Island Casino when a 16-foot livestock trailer came loose from the tractor that was pulled it and veered into their eastbound lane. Two people on the lead cycle, later identified as 60-year-old Marvin Fandrich and his wife 61-year-old Kathy Fandrich, were struck and killed.

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Petzel is charged with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of criminal vehicular homicide, and both reckless and careless driving. Those charges come just two years after Petzel was convicted of careless driving in an incident where another motorcycle was killed. Authorities say he rear-ended a vehicle with his pickup and pushed it into the path of an oncoming motorcycle rider who was killed.

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1 comment

  1. This asshole has already shown a complete lack of respect, not only for the lives of others on the road but the animals he’s transporting. Why he wasn’t thrown in prison forever the first time is unfathomable to me,
    That the motherfucker has been loose and has done this again is completely inexcusable; from him, the local LEO’s, DA’s, State officials… let’s just keep on going. This person, and I. saying tjat loosely, never should gave been allowed on the road again. How many other instances are there that we aren’t yet aware of where the idiot displayed a reckless disregard for the public and all other living things.
    It’s blatantly obvious the moron has no respect for any form of like, including his own
    At what point does he qualify as a serial killer? Three dead in two incidents, who know how many he’s got away with and will get away with in the future.
    Bet he got up and said how sorry he was last time as well.


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