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Woman gets 70 years in prison for killing two bicyclists in Michigan charity ride

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IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A woman was sentenced to at least 70 years in prison for causing the deaths of two bicyclists who were hit while taking part in a charity ride in western Michigan.

The judge in Ionia County stacked two 35-year terms for Mandy Benn, a rare consecutive punishment. Most sentences in Michigan courts run concurrently.

Police said Benn was under the influence of drugs when she crossed the center line and hit a group of bicyclists on a rural road in 2022.

Edward Erickson, 48, of Ann Arbor, and Michael Salhaney, 57, of Bloomfield Hills, were killed while riding in a three-day endurance event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This is not an accident. ... There was a series of choices you made at some point to ingest this cocktail of narcotics and that led to everything we saw," Judge Ronald Schafer said Tuesday.

In October, Benn, 44, was convicted of second-degree murder and a raft of other charges.

She apologized in court on Tuesday and read out the names of the dead and injured bicyclists.

“I know you haven’t seen much of it but I am very much so sorry,” Benn said. “I never in my life had any intent of hurting anyone. One moment — that moment — changed the outcome of a lot of futures."

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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