ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Public safety officials say a 53-year-old man who crashed his motorcycle in Sherburne County over the weekend is Minnesota’s first motorcycle fatality of 2015.

The sheriff’s office says the man was riding on a county road in Santiago Township around 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he ran off the road and hit a mailbox.

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Authorities say he was not wearing a helmet. The preliminary investigation shows speed apparently was a factor.

Last year, Minnesota’s first motorcycle fatality of the season happened March 11.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is reminding motorists to watch carefully for motorcycles, and for riders to wear brightly-colored protective gear, including a DOT-approved helmet.

According to preliminary reports, there were 44 motorcycle fatalities in Minnesota in 2014. That’s down from 60 fatalities in 2013.

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