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http://www.tampabays10.com/thismorning/thismorning_article.aspx?storyid=27210DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (AP)—Bike Week 2006 is the deadliest since the event began 65 years ago, with 18 motorcyclists dying in eight days.
Florida Highway Patrol Spokeswoman Trooper Kim Miller says this year's deaths surpass the 15 deaths recorded in 2000, previously the most deadly Bike Week on record.
Authorities attribute the spike in deaths to the sunny weather, which caused a rise in Bike Week attendance. FHP says the number of alcohol related deaths dipped this year, and helmet use was up.
On Saturday, authorities say Richard Highsmith of Orlando died in Seminole County after returning home from Bike Week. Brian Rooke of West Palm Beach died after hitting a guardrail. And another biker, whose identity has not been released, died in Ormond Beach.
On Friday, Walter Fliss of St. Cloud had just bought his motorcycle when he crashed into a construction site and died. Jason Perron of Apopka, David Hudson of Lake Wales and another unidentified biker also died that night.
Bike Week, which brings thousands of bikers from around the country to Daytona, ended Sunday. Eight motorcycle-related deaths were reported during last year's event.