A man and a woman from Summerside have been named as the victims in a fatal motorcycle accident late Thursday afternoon in Midgell, near St. Peters.

The names of the deceased in last night's fatal car/motorcycle collision are 63 year old Gordon Howatt, and Valerie Ellis, 52, both of Summerside. They died at the scene of the accident. The motorcycle they were on collided with a car on Highway 2 just before 5:30 p.m.

"It appears at this point, although it's very early into the investigation, that the driver of the sedan was heading westbound and crossed the centre into the oncoming lane of the motorcycle, which was heading eastbound," said RCMP Sgt. Andrew Blackadar.

The driver of the car was a 35-year-old man from Morell. He was sent to hospital in Charlottetown with minor injuries. He was the only occupant of the car.

The crash shut down a portion of the busy highway for close to five hours as police tried to figure out what went wrong.

"We certainly don't believe at this point that alcohol was a factor in the collision," said Blackadar.

"It may have been driver fatigue but, as I mentioned, it's very early in the investigation and we've a collision analyst on scene who is trying to determine speed of both vehicles at the time of the collision."

Blackadar said witnesses to the crash are being interviewed. Both the car and motorcycle have been seized by police for mechanical inspection. Police don't know whether any charges will be laid.

More fatalities this year

Traffic fatalities by year

2007: 6

2008: 19

2009: 11

2010: 10

2011: 15

2012: 13

RCMP say 2013 is so far a worse year for traffic deaths than last year.

To date 11 people have died on Island highways in 2013 in ten accidents. Four of those fatalities were people on motorcycles.

During the same period last year there were six fatalities in six collisions. None of those accidents involved motorcycles.

From 2007 to 2012, the average number of traffic fatalities on the Island was just over 12.