Five Bicyclists Killed, Four Others Badly Injured in Michigan Hit-and-Run

Authorities at the scene of a git-and-run crash Tuesday Cooper Township, Michigan, near Kalamazoo.
Authorities at the scene of a git-and-run crash Tuesday Cooper Township, Michigan, near Kalamazoo.WOOD-TV

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By Erik Ortiz, Alex Johnson and Chris Essner

A pickup truck slammed into nine bicyclists Tuesday night north of Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing five of them and seriously injuring four others, authorities said.

The driver fled the scene of the crash on a road in Cooper Township but was later arrested, Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey S. Getting said late Tuesday night. No identities or ages were immediately released, but Getting said all of the victims were adults.

Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo told NBC News it was treating two patients in critical condition. Another Kalamazoo hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital, was also treating two patients.

Getting said authorities in three jurisdictions were already looking for the blue pickup truck after people called to "express concern" about its driver in the half-hour before the crash. Witnesses told NBC station WOOD of Grand Rapids that they had seen it swerving across multiple lanes.

In an apparent reference to the shooting deaths of six people Feb. 20 in Kalamazoo, Getting said: "Unfortunately, we've seen just months ago a mass casualty incident, and I’m at a loss to describe how I feel. I'm at a loss to describe an impact for the community from these incidents."

A witness, Markus Eberhard, told WOOD that he was leaving a park after fishing when someone yelled at him to look out for a swerving car.

"The dude almost ran over my foot," Eberhard said of the driver.

"Before I could tell the bikers to move or watch out — boom," he said, adding: "I've never seen anything like this in my life."

Investigators at the scene of a fatal crash Tuesday in Cooper Township, Michigan.WOOD-TV via NBC News Channel