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kalamazoo bicycle

Charles Pickett Jr.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office

Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison for his role in a car crash that left five cyclists dead and four injured. 

Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The trial for the Battle Creek man who allegedly hit and killed five cyclists with his pickup truck continued today. One witness says he was struggling mentally on the day of the incident.

Charles Pickett Jr. currently faces five counts of second degree murder for the June 2016 accident which left five dead and four injured. Pickett is accused of driving under the influence of muscle relaxers at the time of the crash.

Charles Pickett Jr.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office

The Michigan Court of Appeals will not hear an appeal of second-degree murder charges against a man involved in a fatal bicycle crash last year.

Chief Clerk Jerome Zimmer wrote July 28 that Charles Pickett Jr.'s leave to appeal was denied "for failure to persuade the Court of the need for immediate appellate review."

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Bicyclists in Kalamazoo are asking city leaders to adopt local laws to help safeguard them against drivers.

The push came after a man struck nine people riding bikes just north of Kalamazoo back in June. 

Charles Pickett Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs before the crash, killing five and injuring four other bicyclists.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Kalamazoo lawmaker says the recent crash that killed five bicyclists may renew the push to make roads safer for people not driving cars.

  Two state senators have introduced legislation after a pickup truck crashed into a group of bikers June 7 in the Kalamazoo area that could mean tougher penalties for those who fatally hit a bicyclist. It would extend existing penalties for those who hit construction workers.

  Kalamazoo Democratic state Rep. Jon Hoadley says the tragedy underscores the need to make roads safer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - Lance Armstrong plans to be in Kalamazoo for a "Finishing the Ride" event in honor of the five cyclists killed when they were hit by a pickup truck.

Armstrong told the Detroit Free Press  the collision on June 7 in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township, 160 miles from Chicago, is the worst he's seen and he's not sure he's emotionally ready for the ride. Armstrong says a fear of being struck by a vehicle is shared by all cyclists.

Armstrong plans to join Kalamazoo-area cyclists in a 28.5-mile ride Tuesday from Kalamazoo to Plainwell and back.