SUV crash leaves 2 bicyclists dead, 3 others injured during Make-A-Wish fundraising event in Michigan

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RONALD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two Michigan bicyclists were killed after an SUV crashed into them and three other cyclists Saturday morning during a Make-A-Wish fundraising event.

Ionia County Central Dispatch received a 911 call at 11:15 a.m. about a car running into a group of bicyclists in Ronald Township, according to an Ionia County Sheriff’s Office press release.

When responders arrived on scene, they immediately discovered a “vehicular mass-casualty incident,” the release states.

An investigation determined five southbound bicyclists were struck by a northbound SUV that crossed the center line into southbound traffic while trying to pass another vehicle, according to the release.All five bicyclists were men from Michigan’s east side.

The impact critically injured all the bicyclists. One cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene. Another was flown to a hospital, but also died from his injuries, the release states.

All three of the surviving cyclists sustained severe injuries, according to the release.

The SUV driver was evaluated and arrested for two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and lodged in Ionia County Jail after receiving medical treatment. The driver’s name will not be released pending formal charges and arraignment, according to the sheriff’s office.

No further information will be released until at least the first of the week, Ionia County Sheriff’s Office Detective Sgt. Phillip Hesche said in an email Saturday night.

The cyclists were participating in the Make-A-Wish Michigan Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour, a three-day endurance ride covering most of Michigan, according to the release.

“Our staff and the entire Make-A-Wish family are heartbroken and offer our deepest sympathy for the riders involved, their loved ones” and others who participated in the event, the group said.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Follow Bryce Airgood on Twitter: @bairgood123.