Motorcyclist killed after hitting dog

An Anoka man was killed and two Appleton, Minnesota, residents were injured in two separate motorcycle accidents July 19 and July 20 in the Milaca area. The fatal motorcycle crash occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 19, on 280th Street east of Highway 169 on the Mudgett-Dailey township line.

Wade Hambleton, 50, was traveling on 280th Street when he crashed into a dog that ran out onto the road, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren. After striking the dog, the motorcycle went into the north ditch of 280th Street. It appears Hambleton died instantly, Lindgren said.

A passenger on Hambleton’s motorcycle, 46-year-old Sandra Huemme, of St. Paul, sustained minor injuries. The dog died at the scene. Hambleton and Huemme were riding as part of a large motorcycle group, Lindgren said. There were several witnesses to the crash.

The Mille Lacs Tribal Police, Onamia Fire Department, Mille Lacs Health System Ambulance and Minnesota State Patrol assisted at the scene.

Two people were injured in a separate weekend motorcycle crash in the city of Milaca. Shortly after noon on Sunday, July 20, the Milaca Police Department was called to Highway 23 and Central Avenue on a report of a vehicle crash. A vehicle driven by Mike Iler, of Foreston, turned into the path of an eastbound motorcycle driven by Tabor Hoppe, according to Milaca Police Chief Todd Quaintance.

Hoppe avoided a crash with the Iler vehicle by taking an evasive maneuver. Hoppe and a passenger on his motorcycle, Kathleen Hoppe, suffered injuries, Quaintance said. A North Memorial Air Care helicopter responded to the scene and landed at the Phoenix hotel and banquet center on the northeast corner of Highway 23 and Central Avenue.

Both of the Hoppes were transported from the scene to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton, Quaintance said. One was taking by ambulance, the other by helicopter. Both were treated and released from the hospital. The Milaca Police Department was assisted by the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Milaca Fire Department, North Memorial Ambulance and North Memorial Air Care, Quaintance said.