As we take a look back at 2012, this story about the tragic death of a Fridley police officer and Plymouth resident was one of the most viewed and commented on. Here's a look at the story from August.
Plymouth Man Dies in Motorcycle Accident
Barry Pankonin, 38, died in a fatal motorcycle crash that happened at approximately 3:09 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21. According to Plymouth Police, officers responded to the report of a personal injury crash involving a motorcycle in the area of Kingsview Lane and 13th Avenue North in Plymouth.
On arrival, officers located a male victim who had sustained serious injuries. The victim was transported by ambulance to North Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at about 4:15 p.m.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's report said Pankonin "died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident."
The report confirms that Pankonin's home address was at 14730 13th Avenue North, which was less than 50 feet away from the crash site.
At the time of the crash, Pankonin had been alone on the motorcycle and had been wearing a helmet. Plymouth Capt. Jeff Swiatkiewicz said police do not believe there is any indication that alcohol or drugs were involved.
Plymouth Police Chief Michael Goldstein said the following about the investigation into the accident:
"The case is still under investigation," Goldstein said. "The State Patrol’s Crash Reconstruction Team is assisting as they do on all fatal crashes. It would be premature and irresponsible for the police department to either confirm or deny what has been learned through any hearsay."
Once we have the State Patrol’s report, our investigators will be able to close out the complete case and we will be able to release more information at that time, he said.
"This was a tragic accident and our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased, his family and friends along with the members of the Fridley Police Department," Goldstein said.
According to the Star Tribune, Pankonin is survived by his partner, Scott Stevenson, his parents and three siblings: a brother and two sisters.
Fridley officials learned at a debriefing Wednesday that a tenative schedule has Pankonin's funeral 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 with visitation beforehand and on Friday, Aug. 24.