NORTH PORT — A man and a woman from Iowa died Friday after their motorcycle crashed into a tree off Interstate 75, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

The 2006 Honda Goldwing motorcycle was driven by Bruce Alan Petrezlka, 59, of Norway, Iowa, and his passenger was Virginia Kae Petrezlka, 56, also of Norway.

Neither were wearing helmets and authorities said they died at the scene.

The crash took place around 11 a.m., when the motorcycle veered off the roadway to the right onto the east paved shoulder. Then it traveled northeast into the wooded area past the east shoulder adjacent to I-75 and collided with a tree, according to FHP.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic ensued on northbound I-75 as FHP investigated the crash. Troopers set up police tape around an area of brush just off the interstate.

There was one lane closed on the right-hand side during much of the afternoon, with traffic backed up from Kings Highway at Mile Marker 170 to Mile Marker 175 where the crash occurred.

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