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Cyclists Turn Out for Memorial Ride One Year After Fatal Crash

Rebecca Thiele

Hundreds of people took part in a memorial bike ride in Kalamazoo Wednesday evening. The event marked one year since an allegedly drugged driver plowed into a group of cyclists riding on North Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township.

Five people died in the crash and four others were seriously injured. On Wednesday, cyclists gathered at the Nazareth complex on Gull Road before the ride.

State Senator Margaret O’Brien thanked the survivors of the crash for attending. She said they were promoting a safer environment for bikes.

“It really puts a human face to this which is so important, and it’s important that we show everyone not just in our community but throughout the entire state this is a priority,” she said.

Sarah DeWitt of Kalamazoo was among the participants.

“That outpouring of love that we saw last year after the incident just needs to be repeated every day. And we have a great community to do that so I wanted to be a part of that,” she said.

Tentative plans for a memorial near the crash site have been announced, but organizers have not given details. The man accused of causing the crash could go on trial this fall.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.
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