UPDATED Friday, July 3, 2009 --- 5:30 p.m.
STOUGHTON, Wis. (AP) -- Five motorcycles in a group driving on Interstate 90 crashed near Stoughton Friday. The Wisconsin State Patrol said five people were injured, one of them critically, in the crash that developed when traffic in front of the cyclists slowed down.
It happened about 10:30 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the interstate. All lanes were blocked for more than an hour, but traffic got moving again shortly before noon.
Jeff Martin is a member of the motorcycling group that was heading to Onalaska for an annual picnic. He said group members are "people who enjoy riding motorcycles and a clean and sober lifestyle."
Some members headed for the hospital to support those injured in the accident.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
UPDATE: Friday, July 3 at 3:00 p.m.
The interstate, south of Madison, was backed up for miles late Friday morning after a multi-vehicle crash that sent four to the hospital with serious injuries. But this affects many more than just those involved.
It happened suddenly without warning.
"What basically happen was one car locked up in front of them," said Jeff Martin who's saw the crash and is a member ARM.
A little after 10:30 a multi-car multi-motorcycle crash happened near mile marker 148 on the interstate just south of Madison. A group of about 25 bikers was heading north.
"With all of our safety seminars and everything else everybody was going into the ditch," he added.
When the vehicles came to rest, four bikers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries -- one by mid-flight.
"We do safety seminars in every chapter and every region. And so it wasn't a lot worse than it was."
The group is from an organization called ARM, which stands for Association for Recovering Motorcyclist, which was founded in Wisconsin in the 1980s. They were heading up to Onalaska for their yearly picnic.
ARM started in La Crosse, Wisconsin and is designed for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.
Added Martin, "It is just people who enjoy riding motorcycles and a clean and sober lifestyle."
According to its website, ARM has grown to become the largest clean and sober motorcycle association in the world. The biker med-flighted was from Denmark. ARM has this reunion every year with what they call their family. And a crash this bad has never happened.
"We are sending part of the family to the hospital to make sure these people aren't alone and to make sure there is an interpreter with the guy from Denmark and then we'll meet up with the rest of our family and then we just go accordingly," he concluded