Following the guilty verdict of Charles Pickett Jr., who was convicted in a jury trial of second degree murder and operating under the influence causing death in a motor vehicle crash involving bicyclists in 2016, Kalamazoo Bicycle Club president Renee Mitchell released a statement that said, “The Kalamazoo Bicycle Club thanks the jury for holding Mr. Pickett accountable on all charges in his recent trial for the 2016 bicycle crash in which five cyclists were killed and four seriously injured. The guilty verdict supports the surviving cyclists, families of the cyclists, and the community as they continue to heal and rebuild their lives. This tragedy affected cyclists around the world. We are thankful for this outcome and hope that over time those greatly impacted will find peace.”
Mitchell said the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club also extends thanks and appreciation to the law enforcement community and the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office for their diligent work to bring this case to justice.
“Continued efforts to make cycling safer are imperative so that our community never experiences a tragedy like this again,” Mitchell said. “In addition to providing safe roadways, the Kalamazoo Bike Club recognizes the need for further work in fighting substance abuse and keeping impaired drivers off the road. In 2016 alone, there were three occasions where vehicles struck cycling groups in our community and in each case the driver of the vehicle was impaired.”
“In solidarity with the victims, their families, and the cycling community, the Kalamazoo Bicycle Club is committed to promoting safe cycling and improving the relationships between all roadway users in our community, motorized and non-motorized alike.”
The non-profit Kalamazoo Bicycle Club was formed in 1971 to promote bicycling in the region. The club’s activities include bike safety advocacy, club rides, racing, touring, and development of a bicycle-friendly infrastructure.