(Reuters) – Officials were investigating on Wednesday the deaths of five cyclists and injuries of four others after a pickup truck plowed into their group along a southwest Michigan road, the state’s governor said.
The driver of the pickup, who has not been named, is in custody and charges against him could be filed on Thursday after the investigation into the crash is concluded, the local prosecutor said on Tuesday night.
Michigan State Police were called in to help determine what happened, Governor Rick Snyder said in a statement on Wednesday.
The cyclists were struck at about 6:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday along the shoulder of a rural road north of Kalamazoo, by a pickup driven by a 50-year-old man, Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting told a news conference on Tuesday.
The man was taken into custody a short distance from the collision, Getting said.
Five bike riders were pronounced dead at the scene while four riders were taken to hospital. The identification of those killed and injured will not be made public until families are notified, Getting said.
All cyclists killed and injured were adults, Getting said. He gave no further details about the bike riding group.
Local ABC affiliate WZZM reported that one rider was in critical condition and another was in fair condition. The condition of the other two injured riders was unclear, the news station said.
Several local law enforcement agencies received calls reporting that the vehicle was being driven erratically about 30 minutes before the collision, according to Getting and local media reports.
Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told local broadcaster WOOD, an NBC affiliate, that the driver fled on foot after the collision.
(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Steve Orlofsky)