In a tragic accident, five people were killed and several others injured after a pickup truck crashed into a group of cyclists out on a ride. According to The New York Times, the incident happened on Tuesday night at around 7 p.m. on a road located around seven miles north of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
All five cyclists were pronounced dead on the scene. Authorities later confirmed that the incident had occurred near Markin Glen Park on North Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township, Michigan. An earlier report by KFOR News said that the dead also included children. However, authorities later confirmed that all of the casualties were adults. The number of injured has been put at four — all of whom have been moved to nearby hospitals for treatment.
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Two of the injured have been taken to the Bronson Methodist Hospital, hospital spokesperson Carolyn Wyllie confirmed. The two others are being treated at the Borgess Medical Center. According to Lew Tysman, a hospital spokesman for Borgess Medical Center, one of the injured admitted there was in critical condition. The other injured individual was reported to be in a “fair” condition.
Meanwhile, authorities were able to arrest the driver, who initially fled on foot following the accident. According to Jeffrey S. Getting, the prosecuting attorney for Kalamazoo County, the suspect has been described as a 50-year-old man from Western Michigan. The identity of the man has not been revealed yet. He added that any decision on the kind of charges that would be filed against the errant driver would be taken on Thursday — after the Michigan State Police completes a preliminary investigation.
In a statement released to the media, Attorney Getting expressed his sympathy towards the family members of the deceased cyslists.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” Getting said. “I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through.”
Attorney Getting also revealed that three local law enforcement agencies had received reports of a pickup truck being erratically driven in the area a few minutes before the accident took place. They are now investigating if it was the same pickup truck that caused the fatal accident.
According to an eyewitness Markus Eberhard who saw the accident happen, he was leaving a nearby park after fishing when he saw the pickup truck coming straight at him. In fact, he was nearly hit by the errant pickup truck. Before he could warn the cyclists, the vehicle had plowed into the group.
“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” Eberhard told WOOD-TV.
Commenting on the latest incident, Michigan State Governor Rick Snyder also issued a statement that read;
“My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Kalamazoo and particularly the cyclists and their families. The State Police were called to assist in the investigation and will continue to provide all the resources they can to help determine what exactly happened last night. What we already know for certain is that Michiganders as a family are in mourning today as Kalamazoo struggles to understand another senseless tragedy.”
This latest tragedy has come as shock to the residents of the area who have already been affected by the infamous Kalamazoo shooting incident involving Uber driver Jason Dalton. In February, Dalton allegedly shot and killed six people and injured two others. He was arrested and has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons Public Domain]