2 dead, 3 severely injured after car crashes into group of cyclists during Make-A-Wish event

RONALD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two bicyclists died, and three others were injured after a car plowed into a group riding in the Make-A-Wish Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile (WAM) Bicycle Tour on Saturday.

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According to investigators, a sport utility vehicle traveling northbound on Stage Road in Ronald Township crossed the center line attempting to pass another vehicle and crashed into the throng of cyclists at around 11 a.m. EDT, WXYZ-TV reported.

According to the TV station, one cyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, while another succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital.

All three survivors suffered severe injuries, WLNS-TV reported.

The Make a Wish Bicycle Tour is a three-day endurance ride covering most of the state of Michigan, the TV station reported.

According to WXYZ, the driver of the SUV was arrested on two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death. Neither the driver nor the victims have been identified publicly.

“We are deeply saddened to share that a tragic accident occurred in lonia County today involving cyclists participating in the Make-A-Wish® Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile® (WAM) Bicycle Tour,” Make-A-Wish Michigan said in a statement about the crash obtained by WXYZ.

“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 third day of our WAM 300 as well as our one-day WAM 50 and WAM Jr. scheduled for Sunday, July 31 have been canceled out of respect for the families.”

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