IONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — IONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two cyclists were killed after they were hit by a driver during a Make-A-Wish ride in Michigan on Saturday.
The Ionia County Sheriff's Office in Michigan said two people died and three were hurt in the crash, which happened on Stage Road, north of E. Nickel Plate Road, around 11:15 a.m. Saturday.
Deputies said the cyclists were participating in the Make-A-Wish Bicycle Tour, a three-day endurance ride covering most of the state of Michigan.
Witnesses told WXMI that a passing vehicle hit several bicyclists. The sheriff's office said the SUV crossed the center line into oncoming traffic while trying to pass another vehicle on Stage Road.
The sheriff's office said one male cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene and another was flown to the hospital but died from his injuries. The three others who were severely injured were transported to a hospital.
The driver was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated causing death. The person was transported to a jail after medical treatment.
The names of the victims and driver have not been released.
Make-A-Wish Michigan issued the following statement Saturday following the crash: "We are deeply saddened to share that a tragic accident occurred in Ionia County today involving cyclists participating in the Make-A-Wish Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bicycle Tour. Two riders were killed, and three were injured after being struck by a car. 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. We are thankful to the first responders who arrived immediately to save lives. We are supporting our riders, staff, and volunteers with grief counseling and assisting with the law enforcement investigation."
The Make-A-Wish ride planned for Sunday was canceled. The road reopened around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.