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Bare-headed Rider Dies Protesting Helmet Law

Over the 2011, 4th-of-July weekend, a group of motorcyclists gathered in Onondaga, New York, to ride in protest against the New York state law that requires motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. One of those riding in protest was a 55-year-old man from Parish, New York. During the ride, police say, his 1983 Harley Davidson spun out of control, and he flew headfirst over the handlebars. His head struck the pavement, and his skull was fractured. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The police and the doctor treating the man said afterward that if he had been wearing a helmet, he probably would have survived the accident. The group organizing the protest ride said that while they encourage the voluntary use of motorcycle helmets, they oppose mandatory helmet laws.

Whatever the case for or against laws concerning motorcycle helmets, you cannot miss the irony of this accidental death: the man died protesting a law that—if he had obeyed it—would have saved his life.

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