Two dead, several injured after SUV crashes in Make-A-Wish bike tour

IONIA TOWNSHIP, MI – Two people have died and three were injured after police say an SUV crashed into a group of cyclists attending a Make-A-Wish event on Saturday, July 30.

WXMI Fox 17 reports that the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office said multiple cyclists were hit. One male participant was pronounced dead at the scene and another was airlifted to an area hospital where he died of his injuries.

Sheriff’s deputies responded around 11:15 a.m. at Stage Road, north of East Nickleplate Road.

The Ionia County Central Dispatcher issued a road closure statement shortly after saying:

“Please avoid the Stage Rd area north of Nickleplate Rd due to a critical incident. The road will be closed indefinitely. Will update when it is open again.

The causeway reopened around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police say an SUV crossed the center line of Stage Road into oncoming traffic while trying to pass another vehicle.

Three cyclists were listed as taken to hospital with serious injuries.

According to the sheriff’s department, the driver of the SUV was arrested on suspicion of operating under the influence causing death. He was taken to prison after receiving medical treatment.

The cyclists were participating in the Wish-A-Mile Bike Tour, the largest Make-A-Wish fundraising event in the state of Michigan, which began in 1987 with a 300-mile ride from Canton to Mackinac.

The names of the driver and victims are being withheld by police pending charges and notification of family members.

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