IONIA COUNTY, MI – Those in the Make-A-Wish and bicycling communities are grieving the loses of two men killed over the weekend while riding in the 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile Bicycle Tour.
Names of the cyclists killed in the Saturday, July 30 crash are expected to be officially released sometime Monday, Aug. 1, according to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office. Police said the driver’s identity will be released after arraignment in court, which is scheduled for Monday afternoon.
“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 WAM community during this difficult time,” Make-A-Wish Michigan said in a statement.
RELATED: Two dead, several injured after SUV crashes into Make-A-Wish bike tour
Police agencies responded to an 11:15 am report July 30 about a vehicle that drove into a group of bicyclists on Stage Road in Ionia County’s Ronald Township. Police said an SUV crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while trying to pass another vehicle.
The driver struck five cyclists, killing two and severely injuring three.
The cyclists were participating in the Wish-A-Mile Bicycle tour, the largest Make-A-Wish fundraising event in Michigan, which began in 1987 as a 300-mile trek from Canton to Mackinac.
“We are supporting our riders, staff, and volunteers with grief counseling and assisting with the law enforcement investigation,” Make-A-Wish said in a statement.
To pay respect to the victim’s families, Make-A-Wish canceled its third day of the 300-mile trip on Sunday, July 31.
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