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Debra Bradley, Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Fred Nelson, Lorenz Paulik and Suzanne Sippel killed; 4 people injured when group of bicyclists is struck by alleged hit-and-run driver Charles Edward Pickett, near Kalamazoo, Michigan
KALAMAZOO, Mich (WWMT) — Police are responding to a crash involving multiple fatalities north of Kalamazoo. Michigan State Police are investigating the circumstances leading up to the crash. Investigators confirm at least nine people were hit in the course of the incident. The driver is in custody at this hour.
There are at least eight people total involved, Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said. Some children are among the victims, he added.
The extent of victims' injuries are unclear. Carolyn Wyllie, a spokeswoman at Bronson Methodist Hospital, told WZZM 13's Alex Shabad hospital staff are assisting two people from the crash. Their conditions and identities are unknown.
The driver of the pickup, described as a 50-year-old western Michigan man, fled from the wrecked vehicle and police caught him a short time later. No charges have yet been filed, but could come by Thursday, Getting said.
Authorities say Wednesday that Debra Bradley, Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Fred Nelson, Lorenz Paulik and Suzanne Sippel died at the scene of Tuesday evening's crash in Cooper Township.
The injured bicyclists are Paul Gobble, Sheila Jeske, Jennifer Johnson and Paul Runnels. They are being treated at area hospitals.
The man who allegedly hit a group of bicyclists with a pick-up truck Tuesday evening has been identified by sources close to the investigation as Charles Edward Pickett.
"A ghost bike is installed or positioned at a site where a cyclist fatality has taken place, and I have never before placed more than one at one time," said Karen Dunnam, who coordinates the Michigan Ghost Bike Facebook page.
They called themselves "The Chain Gang" - a group of bicyclists drawn together by zest for their sport, physical fitness and love of the outdoors whose day trip in the southwestern Michigan countryside ended tragically as a pickup truck plowed into them, killing five and injuring four others.
Fevig-Hughes was a member of local Japanese drumming group at Kalamazoo College. Esther Vandecar, director of Kalamazoo College Taiko Team, knew her as a "beautiful, bright and shining woman" who was devoted to the team.
Pickett, a 50-year-old Bedford Township resident, has been charged with five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving. Kalamazoo County District Court Judge Christopher Haenicke authorized the charges Thursday afternoon.
The celebration of Sippel's life will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 23, at the Kellogg Biological Station, according to her obituary. Michigan State University's biological station, where Sippel had worked, is at 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners.
Family and friends say that Melissa knew how to live life to the fullest and that she was fun, adventurous and positive. Melissa also played drums, loved to hike and climb mountains, but most of all, was a loving mother.
Getting declined to say whether Pickett had taken a legal drug, an illegal drug or a combination of both. He also declined to say what levels of the drugs were in his system.
A man accused of killing five people when he plowed his speeding pickup truck into a group of Michigan bicyclists had taken pain pills and muscle relaxers less than two hours earlier, according to police reports.
A defense lawyer says a man accused of killing five people by plowing his speeding pickup truck into a group of Michigan bicyclists hadn’t intended to harm them.
The preliminary NTSB report does not provide much more detail than many media accounts of the June 7 accident near Kalamazoo. But the NTSB’s interest in a bicycle accident is unusual. The agency decided that the crash was worth investigating not only because of its severity but because of the growing popularity of bicycling as an alternative to vehicles.
"Preliminary findings indicated that the driver of the pickup truck had used medications and illicit drugs before the crash," the preliminary report states.
A hearing was held Wednesday in Kalamazoo County District Court for Charles Pickett Jr. of Battle Creek. He was evaluated by the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry at the request of his attorney.
Charles Pickett Jr. will face a judge today to determine whether there's enough evidence to send him to trial in the June 7 bicycle crash that killed five people and injured four.
Charles Pickett Jr.'s attorney on Thursday, April 20 filed an application in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to consider reversing a judge's March decision denying a motion to quash Pickett's bindover for trial on second-degree murder charges.
In a moving patchwork of red, blue, purple yellow, black, white, orange, green and lime jerseys, more than 300 cyclists honored on Wednesday those killed and those injured in the tragic June 7, 2016 bicycle-pickup truck crash that stunned this community.
A new trial date has been set for a driver accused of plowing into a group of bicyclists, killing five of them and injuring four more in southwestern Michigan.
Testimony has concluded after defense attorneys declined to call any witnesses in the trial of a Michigan motorist accused of running down nine bicyclists, killing five of them.
Survivors and family members of the victims who died in the June 2016 fatal bicycle crash in Kalamazoo said following a guilty verdict justice was served, though they can't bring the four victims back.
Charles Pickett Jr., 52, faces up to life in prison after being convicted by a Kalamazoo County jury in May for the June 7, 2016 bicycle crash in Kalamazoo County.
A Michigan man who was under the influence of drugs when he plowed into bicyclists, killing five, has been sentenced to at least 40 years in prison.