5 bicyclists dead after crash north of Kalamazoo

COOPER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Five bicyclists were killed and four more were hurt Tuesday evening when they were hit by a pickup truck north of Kalamazoo.

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo says it is treating two of the victims. It did not release any further details about those patients Tuesday night. Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo says it is also treating two patients. One was listed in critical condition and the other in fair condition Tuesday night.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said at a press conference about four hours after the crash that all of the victims were adults and that the survivors all sustained serious injuries. Authorities would not release any further information about any of the victims Tuesday night.

The group of bicyclists was struck by a pickup truck as they rode along Westnedge. Witnesses said the truck was driving erratically.

Markus Eberhard said he was leaving Markin Glen Park after fishing when someone shouted at him to watch out. He said the pickup nearly ran over his foot. He said before he could “tell the bikers to move or watch out,” the pickup hit them.

“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” Eberhard said.

“All I heard was a pop and a really big crash noise,” another witness, Arika Kruger said.

She said the front of the truck sustained heavy damage.

Kruger said she saw four ambulances leave the scene; three had lights on, one had lights and sirens running.

“We didn’t see anybody walk away,” Kruger said. “I pray for these families, I really do, because this is really tragic.”

A driver of the pickup fled on foot after the crash, then found a short distance away and taken into custody, Prosecutor Getting said.

Multiple police and fire agencies remained on the scene for hours after the crash. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation while the Michigan State Police are handling crash reconstruction.

Eberhard said the bicyclists appeared to be a group of adults who often ride in the area.

This story was originally published by News 4 sister station WOOD, a Media General Contributing station. 

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