Five cyclists were killed in Michigan yesterday when the driver of a pick-up truck ploughed into the group they were riding with. A further four people are in hospital with serious injuries. The drover attempted to flee on foot but was caught and is now in police custody.
The fatal incident happened at approximately 6.30pm yesterday on North Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo, reports CBS News.
According to Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting, the driver of the pick-up truck is a 50-year-old man from Michigan.
He added that around half an hour beforehand, the local police department, sheriff’s office and department of public safety had received reports of a pick-up truck being driven “erratically” and that officers were looking for it when the cyclists were hit.
One witness, Markus Eberhard, told WOOD-TV that his foot had almost been run over by the pick-up truck but before he was able to warn the riders, the motorist ploughed into them.
“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” he added.
The riders are reported to have been part of a group that meets for weekly rides.
While incidents involving loss of life due to motor vehicles are thankfully extremely rare they are not unknown - in 2010 seven Italian cyclists were killed when a 21-year old driver, high on drugs, crashed in to a club ride near the Calabrian town of Lamezia Terme, The driver, Chafik El Katani was subsequently sentenced to eight years in prison.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.