Five bicyclists were killed and another four injured when a pickup truck plowed into the group as they were riding in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The driver of the pickup fled the scene but was later apprehended and charged.
According to information released by the Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney, at approximately 6:00 pm, police began receiving calls about a pickup truck which was driving erratically. As police searched the area where the truck was seen, they were dispatched to the 5500 block of North Westnedge and found a horrific hit and run car accident scene.
Three women and two men were killed by the hit and run driver. Of the four victims who were injured, two were originally listed in critical condition, but have both been upgraded to fair, and two are listed in serious condition.
The driver, a 50-year-old man, was found a short distance away, his truck totally disabled by the damage it sustained when the he slammed it into the victims. He has been charged with five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment. If convicted, he faces life in prison on the murder charges and five years for each reckless driving charge. There has been some discussion that the driver was drunk at the time of the grisly crash, the prosecutor in the case has yet to confirm.
Although the driver is facing multiple criminal charges for the deaths and injuries of the nine bicyclists, he may also be civil liable, as well. The injured victims from this hit and run bicycle accident, as well as the families of the cyclists who were killed, may be able to file personal injury and wrongful death claims against the driver in order for driver for medical expenses, lost wages, funeral and burial expenses, and pain and suffering.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 700 cyclists are killed every year in car accidents. Another 48,000 cyclists are injured. In a statement, the son of one of the men killed said that although words would never be able to describe the amount grief his family was feeling, “My hope would be to educate against the many causes of these incidents. Whether they involve drinking and driving or road rage or texting while driving.”
Our Virginia personal injury law firm understands very well the trauma that hit and run car accident victims struggle with. Our attorneys have successfully represented many victims, including one client who was left lying injured in a ditch for almost thirty minutes before she was found, after the drunk driver who hit her fled the scene.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, or have had a family member killed by a hit-and-run driver, contact an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. Our personal injury law firm also offers a free hit and run accident guide. The guide covers topics such as what steps you should take if you are a victim of a hit and run accident and what if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.