RCMP are warning Manitobans to be extra careful driving around motorcycles and ATVs after a number of fatal crashes over the weekend.

Five people died in four separate motorcycle crashes, including one in Winnipeg and one near Brandon.

Jared Youzwa, 26, and his girlfriend, 25-year-old Ngan Nguyen, were killed when the motorcycle they were on collided with a van on the Trans-Canada Highway near Brandon on Friday. The driver of the van was injured.


Jared Youzwa, left, and Ngan Nguyen, were killed when the motorcycle they were on collided with a van on the Trans-Canada Highway near Brandon on Friday. (Facebook)

"Anybody that knew either one of them knew that they were beautiful people in every which way," said Brad Prychun, who grew up with Youzwa and was close friends with the couple.

"They would give you anything they could to help you."

Prychun said Youzwa always wore protective gear. Both Youzwa and Nguyen were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, he added.

Youzwa's family is planning to honour him and Nguyen with a procession of bikes in the Selkirk, Man., area on Friday afternoon.

Murray Grove, another friend of Youzwa, said he had a couple of close calls on his own motorcycle this past weekend because of drivers cutting him off on the roads.

"Watch the roads. There's people on peddle bikes, there's people on motorcycles, and they're not always the easiest to see," Grove said.

"I think the people in the vehicles need to pay more attention to the road."

Grove said motorcycle riders also need to make sure they are travelling at safe speeds.

Disturbing trend of crashes, says RCMP

On Saturday, a 75-year-old man was killed near La Riviere, Man., after losing control of his bike. That same day, a Winnipeg man was killed in a crash in Portage la Prairie when his ATV collided with farm machinery.

On Sunday, a 59-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle crash near Binscarth, Man. 

RCMP Cpl. Miles Hiebert said there are usually only four motorcycle-related deaths per year in the province.

"In a year, RCMP will respond to four deaths on motorcycles and five deaths related to ATVs, and we’ve already reached that number in the province for 2013," said Hiebert. "It appears to be sort of a disturbing trend."

Hiebert said speed and alcohol were not factors in any of the crashes, and he’s urging drivers to use caution when driving around the vehicles.