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Elbridge woman dies during motorcycle training class | syracuse.com

DeWitt, NY -- Marianne and Eric Pitcher were excited to take a motorcycle training class together this weekend.

They both worked long hours, but loved spending every moment they could together, said Rashelle Pitcher, Eric's sister. Sunday morning was no different.

The Elbridge couple planned to buy a three-wheel Spyder motorcycle to take a well-deserved vacation next summer. By taking a motorcycle, it was going to be more affordable, said Rashelle Pitcher, of Hannibal. But first, they needed to get licensed so they signed up for a motorcycle training class at ShoppingTown Mall, she said.

Sunday morning, on the second day of class, 39-year-old Marianne Pitcher was practicing riding a motorcycle.

With her husband, an instructor and the rest of the class nearby, something terrible went wrong.

DeWitt police confirmed a woman died in the motorcycle accident, which was reported shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday. However, they did not release any other details.

From what Rashelle Pitcher's brother told her, Marianne may have hit the front brake, instead of the back brake. "The back of the bike came up, she went over the handlebars and came down on her head," Rashelle Pitcher said. "What was supposed to be a fun thing turned out to be a tragedy." Family members believe Marianne Pitcher may have broken her neck, however an autopsy is scheduled, Rashelle Pitcher said.

"My brother watched his wife, his best friend die in front of him," Rashelle Pitcher said. "You can't get much more horrific than that. It's a shock."

She said her prayers also go out to the instructor and the rest of class who also watched Marianne -- a gentle, sweet and quiet person -- die. Marianne Pitcher was rushed to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, where she was pronounced dead.

"It's nobody's fault," Rashelle Pitcher said. "It's God's way of taking an angel home."

Marianne Pitcher grew up in the Martville area in Cayuga County, her sister-in-law said. She went to school in southwest Oswego, and eventually met Eric Pitcher. Marianne and Eric lived for their three dogs and each other, Rashelle Pitcher said. They celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary last week, she said.
 

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Wow. I guess when it's your time, it's your time.
 

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Are we not men?
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Tragic. It's hard to believe you could front flip at the speeds of the MSF course, especially with the type of bikes they use. Still...

Godspeed.
 

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"Hit the front brake instead of the back brake"...uh...the only time that's really a mistake is on choppers with a front tire that would be better off on a bicycle.

On a typical MSF standard, you should probably be using ~ 80% (I know they say 70....but that's outdated) front brake. You'd really have to try to endo one of those things.

Definitely sad. :(
 

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Do you know that's what she had? That'd be even weirder.

When I did mine they had 1-2 rebels but most of the bikes were 250 nighthawks. Still not easy.
5 years ago (wow, I feel old..) when I did mine they had some rebels and some on-road/off-road Yamaha with knobbies as option 2.
 

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RIP, and I feel for the husband :( Watching a loved one go down on a motorcycle is traumatic, can't imagine how it feels when the loved one does not gets up from the accident...

During my MSF course, there were two students that in my opinion were obviously over there head. The first one was a kid late teens/early twenties that had attempted to to pass the MSF a great deal of times (cant remember the exact figure, but it was over 5 times). This kid was removed from the course at the end of the first day.

The second one a lady in her mid early/mid 40's. This lady ended up doing a superman on a rebel 250, and on another ocassion, dropped the bike on her leg during an excersise. For some reason, the coaches allowed her to stay in the class, and she eventually passed the course.

I am not claiming to be a super rider, but there are people out there that have no business on a motorcycle.
 

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RIP, it can happen. I had a guy stoppie his during my MSF.
 

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Damn shame. Her husband must feel dreadful.

Then again, at my friend's BRC II the instructors told the class of someone in their organization that TRIPPED over something on the course (I forget what), fell wrong, smacked his head on the ground and died...

Talk about horrified seeing either of those events happen.
 

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Yeah, it's easy to say "motorcycles are dangerous", which is true to an extent, but what's also true is that people die doing mundane safe things all the time. My MSF was mostly little nighthawks but they actually had me on an old honda version of the ninja250. Cant remember exactly what it was, but it was sportbikeish. I'm sure a very green student grabbing a handful of brake suddenly could easily flip just about anything. It's just that most people dont do it. Sad, very sad.
 
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