By Jared Ritz
A Havre man was killed while riding his motorcycle on Beaver Creek Highway Saturday morning after leaving his campsite.
Pat Wayne Austin, 47, was traveling north on a 1979 Honda 1000cc motorcycle when he misnegotiated a curve to the right, the Montana Highway Patrol said today.
The motorcycle went off the west side of the road and rolled as it hit a cabin-approach road, Hill County Sheriff Greg Szudera said.
The motorcycle rolled for about 150 feet and then Austin was ejected. He landed in the roadside ditch on the west side of the road about 200 feet from where the motorcycle left the highway, Szudera said.
Szudera, who arrived on the scene about two hours later, said Austin was speeding when the crash happened.
The accident occurred about 6 a.m. near Rotary Pond, 19.5 miles south of Havre in Beaver Creek Park.
Austin was traveling back to town after camping with friends and family in the park, the sheriff said.
Szudera, who is also the county coroner, said Austin was dead when he arrived at the scene. He said the cause of death was multiple injuries caused by the accident.
Austin was not wearing a helmet, Szudera said. Montana has a helmet law, but only for those under the age of 18. All juveniles must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, but adults are not required by law to wear one.
The crash brings the number of deaths on Montana's highways so far this year to 114, compared to 97 at this time last year.