On September 11, 2022, at approximately 2:18 p.m., the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center was notified of a motorcycle crash with injuries on County Road 13 just south of 360th Street in Grove Township. This location is approximately 1.5 miles south of Melrose, Minnesota. The initial report was that a motorcycle went off the road and an individual was injured.
While deputies and officers were enroute information was obtained that there were two motorcycles involved and that both riders were injured. When deputies arrived on scene, they determined that the two motorcycles were traveling southbound on County Road 13, south of 360th Street. The investigation showed that both motorcycles went off the left side of the road and into the ditch as the road curves to the right. One of the motorcycles was a 2020 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Aaron Schlingmann, 43 of Janesville, Minnesota. The second motorcycle was a 2022 Harley Davidson driven by Erik Buckley, 45, of Owatonna, Minnesota.
Schlingmann was transported to Melrose Hospital by Melrose Ambulance. Life Link Helicopter was dispatched to respond to the Melrose Hospital to assist in transporting Schlingmann to another hospital. Schlingmann was declared deceased a short time after arriving at the Melrose Hospital. Buckley was transported to the Melrose Hospital by Melrose Ambulance a short time later. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Neither Schlingmann nor Buckley were wearing helmets.
Stearns County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Melrose Police Department, Melrose Ambulance, Life Link Helicopter, and the Minnesota State Patrol. The Minnesota State Patrol responded to the crash scene for reconstruction purposes and the crash remains under investigation.