Cloquet man dies in motorcycle-deer accidentTimothy Couture, 53, of Cloquet died Tuesday of injuries sustained Saturday afternoon in a deer-motorcycle accident north of Duluth.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Timothy Couture, 53, of Cloquet died Tuesday of injuries sustained Saturday afternoon in a deer-motorcycle accident north of Duluth. Couture’s mother, Phyllis, related that at the time of the accident, he and a companion were riding home from a meeting of the Thunderbirds Motorcycle Club, of which he had been a member for some 25 years or more.
Phyllis Couture said Tim’s fellow motorcyclist reported that the deer jumped out in front of him along a remote stretch of roadway on Pequaywan Lake Road in North Star Township.
“He said Tim didn’t have a chance,” said Phyllis. “When the deer ran out in front of him and he hit it, he flew straight up in the air and hit the ground head down, resulting in extreme head injuries.”
Tim Couture, who was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, was transported to St. Luke’s Medical Center in Duluth, where he never regained consciousness prior to his death. His mother said Tuesday that the family was honoring his wishes to become an organ donor.
She had high praise for his fellow members of the Thunderbirds during the aftermath of the accident.
“Many of them were there from the very first moment until the time it was all over,” said Phyllis. “The minute they noticed that any of us was having a meltdown, they were there to give that person a hug. They also took care of Tim’s friends who came to visit at the hospital, including many of his hockey buddies.”
Couture was co-owner of PAW Communications in Cloquet along with his brothers, Jeffrey and Patrick. He was an avid sportsman who loved hunting, fishing and cross country skiing, participating two years in the Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race in Cable, Wis. His mother said he played hockey from the time he was 3 years old, going all the way through the high school program and then on to play in area bar leagues as an adult.
Agencies responding to last Saturday’s accident included the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, North Star First Responders and Gold Cross Ambulance.
The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reminds all motorists to be extra cautious this time of year since deer are more prevalent.