July 31 (UPI) — Two cyclists were killed and three others were severely injured in Michigan over the weekend in a crash involving an SUV that crossed over the center line while trying to pass another vehicle, authorities said.
The incident happened shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday in Ionia County, located some 35 miles east of Grand Rapids, the county’s sheriff’s office said in a statement.
All five cyclists were critically inured with one being pronounced dead at the scene. A second cyclist was later pronounced dead due to their injuries after being airlifted to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Two injured cyclists were transported to Sparrow Ionia Hospital with the third also being sent to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital for treatment.
“All three of the surviving cyclists had severe injuries,” the sheriff’s office said.
The identifies of the cyclists were being withheld from the public but the sheriff’s office said the crash occurred as the cyclists were participating in the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour, a three-day endurance ride through much of Michigan state that is a fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The identity of the SUV driver was also withheld pending formal charges being laid and arraignment, the sheriff’s office said, adding that the person was arrested on two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death.
After receiving medical treatment, the driver was placed into the Ionia County Jail, authorities said.
“It is with heavy hearts we remember our riders impacted by the tragedy yesterday,” Make-A-Wish Michigan said Sunday in a statement. “Our staff and 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 community at this time.”