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Two motorcyclists killed in crashes near Billings

Two Montana motorcyclists were killed Tuesday in separate single-vehicle crashes on highways outside Billings.

Tyler Kirk Munson, 48, of Livingston and Robert Lee Noble, 67, of Billings both lost control of their Harleys, causing them to go off the road. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Motorcycle accident with serious injuries

An emergency medical services helicopter flies over Highway 87 North as it prepares to land at the scene of a motorcycle accident that left a victim with serious injuries near the Big Sky Speedway.

AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette

Munson was traveling north on Highway 87 Tuesday morning at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass on the shoulder, according to a Montana Highway Patrol report. He then noticed his saddle bag had opened and tried to close it, causing him to lose control of his motorcycle. He crossed into the southbound lane, went off the west side of the road and was thrown from his motorcycle.

Motorcycle accident with serious injuries

Paramedics responded to the scene of a motorcycle crash that seriously injured someone around 11 a.m. Tuesday just north of Big Sky Speedway on Highway 87 North. An air ambulance responded to the scene about 20 miles north of Billings.

AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette

Noble was driving east on Interstate 94 when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a guardrail.

There have been at least eight fatal motorcycle accidents in Montana this year, three of which occurred in Yellowstone County. Less than a month ago, Joseph Louis Kelly, 22, was riding a Kawasaki motorcycle on Main Street in Billings Heights when he was struck by a turning semi. Kelly was speeding before the crash, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

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Serious motorcycle accident in Heights

The Billings Police Department is responding to the scene of a serious crash involving a motorcycle and a vehicle near Main Street and Judith Lane in the Heights Wednesday afternoon. The motorcycle driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette

Tuesday’s deaths weren’t the only fatal single-vehicle motorcycle accidents this year. In April, a motorcyclist in Flathead County hit a pothole on a rural road and was ejected from his motorcycle. He was hospitalized and died of his injuries a little less than a month after the crash.

Motorcycle crashes accounted for 13% of Montana’s traffic fatalities from 2013 to 2022, according to the Department of Transportation. Of those 257 fatalities, 65% were single-vehicle crashes, and 63% occurred in the summer.