RONALD TWP. (WXYZ) – Two cyclists were killed and three others were injured after a car hit a group of them in County Ionia, police say.
It happened during Make-A-Wish Michigan’s 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bike Tour.
Police tell us it happened around 11am in the 3000 block of Stage Road in Ronald Township
Investigators say the five cyclists were heading south on Stage Road when they were struck by a northbound SUV, which crossed the center line trying to pass another vehicle.
One cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, while another was transported via AeroMed to a hospital in Grand Rapids before dying of his injuries.
The three cyclists who survived the crash are all in hospital with what authorities are calling serious injuries.
The driver of the SUV was arrested on two counts of impaired driving causing death. After receiving medical treatment, they are now housed in the Ionia County Jail.
The five cyclists, who are all men, are unnamed at this time, pending notification from family.
The identity of the driver has also not been released, pending formal charges and an indictment.
“We are deeply saddened to share that a tragic accident occurred today in Lonia County involving cyclists participating in Make-A-Wish® Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile® (WAM) Bicycle Tour,” Make-A-Wish Michigan said in a statement about the accident. “Two cyclists were killed and three were injured after being hit by a car. Our staff and the entire Make-A-Wish family are heartbroken and offer our deepest sympathy to the runners involved, their loved ones and all members of the WAM community during this difficult time. We are grateful to the first responders who arrived immediately to save lives. We support our riders, staff and volunteers with bereavement counseling and assisting with the law enforcement investigation. The third day of our WAM 300 as well as our one-day WAM 50 and WAM Jr. scheduled for Sunday July 31 have been canceled out of respect for the family.”