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State Patrol: Man Killed After Motorcycle Hits Pothole On I-394

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The State Patrol says excessive speed led to Minnesota's first motorcycle death of the year.

Investigators say Anand Baskaran was traveling at 100 mph on Interstate-394 at Theodore Wirth Parkway in Minneapolis just before 10 p.m. Tuesday night. It's believed the 30-year-old hit a crack in the road that sent his motorcycle out of control, throwing him to his death.

When Baskaran lost control, he was not alone, investigators say. 

"We have [reports of] a motorcycle, or two motorcycles, traveling at 100 - 120 miles an hour," said Sgt. Jason Bartell with the State Patrol.

He says that during this time of year there are lots of hazards on the roads for motorcyclists, such as snow run off that freezes at night, potholes, sand, and gravel. However, he says that there were no reports of I-394 being unsafe in the area of the crash.

"When you are driving that fast – again, it really doesn't matter what the road conditions are like or potentially like -- the results are going to be tragic at that speed," Bartell said.

When Baskaran was found he was not wearing a helmet, but investigators did later recover one at the scene.

Baskaran was an IT analyst at 3M's Maplewood campus, and he's originally from East Northport, N.Y.

"No one should ever be driving at those speeds, and I certainly don't mean to speak ill of the dead…but you should always be riding within the posted speed limits," said Michael Berger, the former chairman of Minnesota's Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee.

He says training and education are the only two things that can save lives.

"If you are not properly trained or if you've been sitting around all winter and not riding your bike actively, you are not going to be able to deal with that," Berger said.

The state, he added, offers classes that teach swerving, braking and avoidance skills.

"The better you are trained, the better your chances are that you're going to get home with your bike and yourself intack," Berger said.

Investigators want to talk with the second motorcyclist who fled the scene. The rider was reportedly wearing a helmet and riding a black Honda sport-style motorcycle.

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