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Motorcycle rider airlifted to Sioux Falls

Hutchinson county and Parkston emergency personal respond to a motorcycle versus car accident on Highway 44 east of Parkston Sunday afternoon. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)

PARKSTON-- A motorcycle driver was airlifted by helicopter to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls Sunday with life threatening injuries after a collision with a car on S.D. Highway 44 three miles east of Parkston.

Gary Bensley, 57, of Elkhart, Iowa, driving his 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle around 3:30 p.m. westbound on Highway 44 when he veered into the eastbound lane.

Patrick Boehmer, 88, of Parkston, was driving a 1997 Chevy Lumina east and swerved slightly before hitting the side of Bensley's motorcycle, according to South Dakota Highway Patrolman Casey Bassett.

Boehmer's car went into the south ditch without rolling over. Boehmer was travelling with his wife Lenora, 84, both were wearing seatbelts and were transported by ambulance to St. Benedict Hospital in Parkston to be checked out.

The reason for Bensley's lane-change is still under investigation and citations are pending, Bassett said.