Prosecutor: Pickup sought prior to crash that killed 5

Police were seeking a pickup truck due to reports that it was driving erratically minutes before five adults in a group of bicyclists were struck and killed on a street in western Michigan, a prosecutor said Tuesday night.

Four other bicyclists suffered serious injuries early Tuesday evening in Cooper Township and were being treated at area hospitals. None of the victims was a child, as was earlier reported.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said during a news conference at the Kalamazoo Township Police Department. “I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through.”

The driver of the pickup, described as a 50-year-old western Michigan man, fled from the wrecked vehicle and police caught him a short time later. No charges have yet been filed, but could come by Thursday, Getting said.

Police with several area agencies had been alerted to the pickup “over concerns” about his driving, Getting said. There was no active pursuit at the time of the accident, he said.

The bicyclists were riding as a group. Their names and ages were not immediately released.

Paramedics and fire crews rushed to the scene near a park within minutes of the bicyclists being hit, Getting said.

Markus Eberhard was leaving the park after fishing and said he was nearly was hit by the pickup. He was unable to warn the bicyclists.

“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” Eberhard told WOOD-TV.

Cooper Township is south of Grand Rapids.

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