The Tragic End Of Michigan's Chain Gang Raises Concerns For Bicyclists [Pics+]

Submitted by: lalapancakes 10 months ago News & Politics
chaingang1

The week of June 7th will go down in the bike riding books as a one of the worst vehicle-bike fatal collisions in recent history, according to Triple Pundit. A blue pickup truck driven by a man named Charles Pickett Jr. had been seen driving erratically earlier in the night. The suspect had already had calls about his erratic driving behavior before he rammed a group of nine friends and bike riders from behind, killing five and injuring four.

From Triple Pundit:

“Killed in the crash Tuesday, June 7, on North Westnedge Avenue north of Kalamazoo were Debra Ann Bradley, 53, of Augusta; Melissa Ann Fevig Hughes, 42, of Augusta; Fred Anton "Tony" Nelson, 73, of Kalamazoo; Lorenz John "Larry" Paulik, 74, of Kalamazoo and Suzanne Joan Sippel, 56, of Augusta. The four seriously injured were Paul Douglas Gobble, 47 of Richland, Sheila Diane Jeske, 53, of Richland, Jennifer Lynn Johnson, 40 of Kalamazoo and Paul Lewis Runnels, 65, of Richland.”

It’s important to note that getting hit from behind, on your bike is a rare kind of accident. Any time I read about riders getting hit from behind, it’s usually due to intent over a true accident. In this case, Pickett Jr. has been found guilty of being under the influence of drugs.

In any case, while a man sits in jail waiting for a competency test to stand trial for ramming nine bicyclists, a group of friends who called themselves the 'Chain Gang' will ride no more.

chaingang2  

Photos: Mlive

There are 10 comments:
Male 1,154
This reminds me, I saw a bicycle overtake a forklift on a 45mph suburban road today. Never thought that would be something I would see.
0
Reply
Male 3,293
Please when riding a bike observe the traffic rules like the rest of us should.
0
Reply
Male 38,276
Bicyclists regularly act like cars and take the whole lane. They may be "legally" right but it's them that suffers when the pull in front of a truck or suv. I'm sure being "right" is a great consolation when they are left paraplegic
0
Reply
Male 321
If you like to be pushed into the roadside ditch several times per ride, ride on the curbs. If you like to make an emergency stop a few dozen times per ride and still not to be safe, use cycling lanes. If you like to survive, use the lane just like each driving instructor will tell you to do when they teach riding motorcycles. (This does not involve "pull in front of a truck or suv" - where from?)
0
Reply
Male 321
Unless you use your bicycle as a wheelchair, riding on the road (not the roadside) is still the safest place to be. You'll be seen.
0
Reply
Male 1,255
Exactly, @7eggert. I often take the lane on my ride to and from work. If I don't take the lane there's always some asshole who sideswipes me.
0
Reply
Male 7,636
This is one reason why I do not ride my bicycle on major thoroughfares.
0
Reply
Male 3,430
you still ride your bicycle? do you ride it where you like? was jaws ever your scene? do you not like star wars? do you not believe in peter pan frankenstein or superman? do you not wanna be the president of america? do you not want to be a candidate for vietnam or watergate? do all you wanna do is a bicycle race?
0
Reply
Male 7,636
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. No. Hell No. No. No.
0
Reply
Male 3,452
Is it in bad taste to call this incident "Pickett's Charge"?
0
Reply