Intoxicated driver arrested for killing two, injuring three cyclists on charity ride in Michigan, USA

The five cyclists were riding in the Make-A-Wish Bicycle Tour when an SUV collided head-on with them

Police US
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An intoxicated driver travelling on the wrong side of the road killed two riders and severely injured a further three in Ionia County, Michigan, on Saturday 30 July. 

The five cyclists were riding in the Make-A-Wish Bicycle Tour, a three day endurance ride covering most of the State of Michigan, when an SUV crossed the centre line of the road while trying to overtake another vehicle. The car crashed head-on into the cyclists, with the incident occurring at 11:15am. 

Police arrested the driver of the vehicle, charging them with two counts of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. They received medical attention at the scene of the incident, and is now being held at Ionia County Jail.

Ionia County Sheriff’s Deputies, MSP Lakeview Troopers, Ionia Department of Public Safety Officers, Lyons/Muir Fire Department, Ronald Township Fire Department, LIFE EMS (ambulance), and Aero Med were all deployed to the scene. One of the cyclists was immediately pronounced dead, with the other later pronounced dead at hospital. 

The other three were taken to hospital after being left severely injured by the incident. 

Ionia County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook (opens in new tab): "The impact caused critical injuries to all the cyclists, and emergency responders worked diligently to preserve the lives of the victims. Unfortunately, one cyclist was immediately pronounced deceased at the scene. Another cyclist was flown by Aero Med to Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids, MI, but also died from his injuries.

"Two other cyclists were transported by LIFE EMS to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, and the fifth cyclist was transported by LIFE EMS to Spectrum Butterworth. All three of the surviving cyclists had severe injuries.

"The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office expresses condolences to the families of those affected by this tragedy."

The riders were all taking part in the charity ride to raise funds for an organisation that fulfils the wishes of children with a critical illness. 

Make-A-Wish Michigan said on Twitter (opens in new tab): "It is with heavy hearts we remember our riders impacted by the tragedy yesterday. Our staff and the entire Make-A-Wish family are heartbroken and offer our deepest sympathy for the riders involved, their loved ones, and all members of the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) community at this time."

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Ryan Dabbs

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.