It is peak bicycle riding season and in Kalamazoo, Michigan FIVE bicyclists were slaughtered by a pickup truck, while FOUR more were seriously injured. The bicyclists were part of a group five miles into a 28.5 mile ride on June 7, 2016. In this tragedy brought on by a careless, reckless driver people lost their spouses, parents, their grandparents and families lost their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, friends. Nine people had no chance of escaping this horrible crash from behind by a pickup truck that they could not have seen coming. Charles Pickett, Jr. of Battle Creek, Michigan now faces five charges of second degree murder after acting in “wanton and willful disregard of the likelihood that the natural tendency of his actions would cause death or great bodily harm and, as a result, did kill and murder” five individual lives from 42 to 74 years of age. Mr. Pickett also faces charges due to the four survivors he seriously injured and was denied bond.
A reckless action like this puts bicyclists in fear all over the country, from individual cyclists to groups. Groups are valuable for the sport due to the invaluable teaching occurring within them such as proper bicycling etiquette, proper handling techniques, and other essential skills. Bicyclists share a real camaraderie as they share their passion for the sport and the advancing of safety laws all over the country. Bicyclists around Kalamazoo spoke to reporters about their feelings of being betrayed, targeted, and not counted as important. A church nearby posted the words, “WE SEE YOU, WE LOVE YOU.” Such statements implore motorists to be alert when driving and be on the constant lookout for those legally on the roads who are harder to see than the average vehicle, including bicyclists but also motorcycles, scooters, runners, and pedestrians. This world has become a place in which some individuals do not care about others they share the roads with them and a place where people live in a state of constant distraction and carelessness. Please remember to be on the lookout for others and put yourselves in their shoes and the shoes of those who love them.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an accident, please contact Inserra & Kelley Law Offices as you may be entitled to compensation. Inserra & Kelley’s attorney, Craig Kelley, is a bicycle enthusiast who started a Chain Gang group in Omaha, Nebraska. He is active in advocating and defending bicyclists of Nebraska and Iowa.