Former Wisconsin Senator Zien Hurt in Crash

Left leg amputated after Bike Week crash

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 15, 2011
Former Wisconsin Senator and AMA Hall of Famer David Zien has been seriously injured in a motorcycle crash.

Zien, a member of the 2000 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame induction class, was injured in a March 13 crash in Jackson County, Fla., during Daytona Bike Week.

According to local reports, Zien struck an SUV that had flipped over on its side after its driver lost control of while trying to change lanes. Zien was taken by helicopter to Tallahassee Memorial Medical Center.

Doctors had to amputate Zien’s left leg above the knee. Zien, who turns 61 March 15, also suffered a fractured pelvis. A longtime opponent of helmet laws, Zien was not wearing a helmet but did not suffer any serious head injuries in the crash.

“He’s actually doing pretty good, considering,” Zien’s partner Suzanne Bowe told the Wisconsin State Journal. “His spirits are really good. He’s looking at it that it could have been worse. I assume he will probably be on a bike again at some time. Probably a three-wheeler.”

Zien was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1988 before serving in the state Senate from 1993-2007. While in office, Zien championed motorcyclist rights. Zien also served as vice president of the Wisconsin Better Bikers Association and had logged over a million miles on his 1991 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide. Harley-Davidson honored Zien’s million-mile achievement in 2009 with a new Road Glide.

The driver of the SUV, Ryan G. Matheny, and his passenger were taken to Jackson Hospital in Marianna, Fla., for minor injuries. Matheny was charged with failure to maintain land and driving with a suspended license.