Lakeville man dies after popping wheelies on motorcycle

Dustin Rahier
Dustin Rahier

A Lakeville man died just days before his birthday, after an Aug. 10 motorcycle accident on Highway 50 and Holt Avenue.

Dustin Rahier, 38, was in eastbound traffic popping wheelies on a Kawasaki motorcycle when vehicles in front of him slowed down, causing him to brake hard and roll, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The State Patrol reported Rahier suffered a serious injury in the crash, and a White Funeral Home obituary reported he died that day.

Rahier was taking part in the Northfield Historical Society’s sixth annual Outlaw Run fundraiser at the time of the accident.

The event starts with a reenactment of attempted bank robbery in Northfield committed by gangs led by Jesse and Frank James and the Younger brothers on Sept. 7, 1876.

Townspeople fired back, and the robbery ended with two gang members and two townspeople dead; the Younger brothers were eventually captured, but the James brothers escaped.

Outlaw Run motorcyclists explore southern Minnesota as the gangs did before the attempted robbery.

Northfield Historical Society Executive Director Hayes Scriven said the accident happened just as the group of about 230 motorcyclists were leaving a New Trier restaurant, the group’s first stop on the trip.

Scriven said he was in the chase vehicle, which follows the riders and contains a first aid kit and cell phone for emergencies; the group also included nurses and emergency medical technicians.

He said an emergency medical technician witnessed the crash and was at Rahier’s side within a minute of the accident.

Rahier was awake but lost consciousness at the scene, Scriven said.

Historical Society members are devastated by the loss, and Scriven said they will be meeting to determine whether to continue holding the fundraiser or if to make changes to it.

Two minor accidents have happened to riders participating in the event in the past: one rider lost the sole of his shoe when his motorcycle slipped on loose gravel and another rider broke an ankle in a spill.

“I’m still trying to comprehend this,” Scriven said, fighting tears. “This is something that’s going to live with me for the rest of my life. “It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever been around.”

A celebration of Rahier’s life starts at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 at White Funeral Home, 20134 Kenwood Trail in Lakeville.