In response to a tragic bicycle accident that claimed the lives of five riders, Michigan state officials are fast-tracking a bill that would impose heavier penalties on drivers who injure cyclists. That should go a long way towards encouraging motorists in the future to act more cautiously, but what about the man who already took five lives?
Charles Pickett Jr., the Kalamazoo driver responsible for the deaths of five cyclists, will reportedly be charged soon with five counts of second-degree murder. He will also be facing four counts of reckless driving, and more, if investigators find more evidence.
How Did the Kalamazoo Bicycle Accident Happen?
Approximately 30 minutes before the crash even happened, police were called by multiple people about a blue truck matching the description of Pickett’s vehicle. They told dispatchers that the truck was driving erratically and was likely to cause an accident. Down the road, five friends were out for their regular ride, when they were all hit from behind by a blue truck at an incredibly high speed.
The impact from the crash killed all five cyclists, and smashed their bikes into crumpled pieces of metal and carbon fiber. The truck was also disabled, as its front end was caved in from the crash. Pickett reportedly fled the scene of the accident, but was found and apprehended not long afterwards.
So far, investigators have not yet determined, or have not yet released information regarding whether or not Pickett may have been drunk at the time of the accident.
Pickett could end up facing a life sentence if he is convicted of the murders, but most drivers who injure or kill cyclists get off with much less. If the bill being fast-tracked through state legislature succeeds, drivers could face a felony with a 15-year prison sentence for killing cyclists.
San Diego bicycle accident attorney Bonnici Law Group is an avid cyclist himself, and understands the hardships riders face every day. He is dedicated to helping fellow cyclists get back on their feet after being knocked down.