Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

03 February 2018

New Trial For Driver Who Mowed Down Five Cyclists

A year and a half ago, I reported one of the most horrific auto-on-bike crashes I've ever heard about.   Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Tony Nelson, Debbie Bradley, Larry Paulik and Suzanne Sippel, all experienced cyclists who'd ridden together for more than a decade, were run down by a blue Chevrolet pickup truck.  They died almost immediately; the crash seriously injured four fellow club members who were riding with them.

In the minutes before that tragedy, police were looking for that truck after three different callers said it was being driven erratically.  When he was apprehended, he was intoxicated and therefore charged with DUI.

Charles Pickett Jr would be charged with five counts of second-degree murder.  He appealed his conviction all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court, which last week said it wouldn't hear his argument that he shouldn't be tried for murder in the case.  

Now he is set to stand trial again in the Kalamazoo County Circuit Court.  A settlement conference is set for Friday, 13 April (!) and jury selection for the trial is to start on Monday the 23rd.

Nothing will bring those cyclists back.  But it's good to know that someone, at least, is taking the needless deaths of cyclists seriously.



  1. Was he appealing his conviction or the charges against him? Has he had any kind of a trial for anything yet?
    Seems to me that if he should be found not guilty of murder, then unless the jury has an option of finding of manslaughter, he could walk? i hope the prosecutor is sharp, and yes although i know that under our (current at least) system of justice a defendant is considered guilty until proven innocent, i wouldn't be a very open minded juror at that trial.

  2. Mike--I don't think I could be "open-minded" at such a trial, either. Like you, I hope the prosecutor understands what happened and gives the driver what he deserves.