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Michigan lawmaker who pushed to repeal helmet law died in a motorcycle crash

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A Michigan state lawmaker who pushed to have the universal helmet rule repealed was killed in a motorcycle crash late Monday night, according to Michigan State Police.

Rep. Peter Pettalia was traveling southbound on M-33 around 5:30 p.m. when a pickup truck driven by a 59-year-old turned left into his lane of traffic.

His motorcycle was broadsided by the pickup truck. Pettalia was wearing his helmet at the time of the wreck, according to police.

'Dear friend and longtime colleague'

House Speaker Kevin Cotter posted to Facebook, calling the news of Pettalia's death shocking. 

"We are all devastated to hear the news today about Rep. Pettalia," Cotter said. "Pete was a dear friend and longtime colleague who was well-known for his expertise, his hard work, and his love for the great outdoors."

House Speaker Kevin Cotter's Facebook post

'Great sense of humor'

Rep. Andy Schor also posted about Pettalia's sudden passing, saying:

"Pete was a truly great public servant. We didn't always agree, but he was honest and sincere in all he did.

"And he had a great sense of humor that could lighten many tough situations. My condolences to his family, whom he loved so much."

Rep. Andy Schor's Facebook post 

Advocate for motorcyclists' rights

Pettalia, 61, was an advocate for motorcyclists' rights and in 2012 voted to repeal the universal helmet laws for all riders over the age 20. 

According to CNN, Michigan is one of the 28 states that do not require motorcyclists to wear helmets. 

Pettalia is survived by his wife and two grown children. 

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