Motorcyclists playing game of chicken killed as crash heard at biker event

Three German motorcyclists died in a collision caused by what police believe was an ill-fated game of "chicken", in which racers hurtle towards each other at top speeds to see who swerves away first.

The incident occurred during a rider meet-up on Saturday (September 17) organised by the Knieschleifer (Kneesliders) motorcycle club at a former airfield in Brandenburg.

Matthias Krüger of the Wittstock fire brigade, who attended the incident, told the Times: "We as members of the fire brigade often see suffering and misery, but even for our experienced colleagues a scene like this is unusual."

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As other members of the motorbike club chatted about bikes and performed wheelies, two of the bikes reportedly headed to opposing sides of the airfield's runway.

One was driven by a 46-year-old from the area, and the other carried two riders – a 47-year-old controlling the bike with a 36-year-old riding pillion behind, possibly filming.

Fellow motorcyclists attending the event reportedly heard screeching tires and a loud crash as the bikes collided – but so far no one has claimed to have seen the crash.

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"When we arrived there was a huge field of debris scattered over 150 metres," Krüger told the Times.

"Three people lay on the ground lifeless. The colleagues from the ambulance service and we immediately conducted resuscitation measures."

It's not currently known how fast the bikes were going but it seemed they made a glancing impact, according to a police spokesperson.

An investigation is currently underway, with transport safety experts reconstructing the event to try to understand what took place.

The airfield was used by the Soviet army after 1945 and abandoned in 1994, after East Germany was liberated from Soviet control.

However, the abandoned runway is still freely accessible and is regularly used by bikers such as the Knieschleifer, who operate across Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

According to German news outlet Berliner Morgenpost, the Knieschleifer only rarely make public appearances or statements, but some of the group's branches have publicly mourned the deaths, such as by posting a white rose next to an image of the group's logo.

Dominik Mayer, who is one of the organisers of Knieschleifer meet-ups in the German city of Karlsruhe, told Berliner Morgenpost that the Knieschleifer was not a club but an "interest group" where motorbike enthusiasts can meet to talk about their vehicles and travel together for trips.

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