New York State Police Chevrolet Tahoe

A motorcyclist in New York passed away while participating in a ride to protest the state's helmet laws this past weekend. Philip Contos, a 55-year-old Harley-Davidson rider, was participating in an American Bikers Aimed for Education (ABATE) ride with over 500 other bikers. According to Associated Press reports, Contos locked up the brakes on his motorcycle, fish-tailed and went over the handlebars. He struck his head on the pavement and was transported to a local hospital before being pronounced dead. State police said that the accident would not have been fatal if Contos had been wearing a helmet.

Even so, the rider's death hasn't been enough to deter ABATE, with members saying that helmets shouldn't be mandatory. Click past the jump to watch an Associated Press report on the incident.