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Helmet foe dies in motorcycle accident

FORT MYERS, Fla., July 31 -- A Fort Myers, Fla., woman who helped lead the fight to overturn the state law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets died Monday after a motorcycle accident. The family of Lynn Rushton had hospital officials turn off her life support.

This is at least the second death of a motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet since the law took effect July 1.

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Police said Rushton was critically injured in a weekend accident in which she was thrown 53-feet from her motorcycle after she failed to stop at a stop sign. She was not wearing a helmet.

The Florida Legislature changed the law this spring to permit riders over 16 years of age who hold at least $10,000 in medical insurance to ride without helmets. Motorcyclists had been lobbying them for years, saying they wanted the feeling of freedom riding bareheaded would provide and claiming that helmets failed to protect riders from spinal cord and other injuries.

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