An early morning motorcycle ride for a group of bikers ended in the worst possible way early Thursday morning south of Chadron.
The Nebraska State Patrol says that 53-year-old James Kenneth Anderson of Longview, Texas was riding north on Highway 385 shortly before 6 a.m.
Anderson struck a deer that was in the roadway, causing his Harley to slide into the east ditch, resulting in fatal injuries.
A second motorcyclist – 39-year-old Richard Smith, also of Longview, TX also crashed into the east ditch. Smith was transported to the Chadron Hospital by ambulance with minor injuries.
A third motorcycle, driven by 43-year-old Shanne L. Miles, age 43, of Big Sandy, TX, also collided with a deer however the driver was able to safely stop and was uninjured.
Two other northbound motorcycles avoided the deer and subsequent collision. Helmets were in use.