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More charges filed against driver accused in crash that killed cyclists

Charles Pickett Jr.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office
Charles Pickett Jr. has been charged with operating while intoxicated in addition to second degree murder and reckless driving.

A prosecutor says a man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of Kalamazoo-area bicyclists, killing five, was under the influence of drugs.

The disclosure was made Wednesday as new charges were filed against Charles Pickett Jr., who already faces second-degree murder charges in the June 7 crash in Kalamazoo County.

Authorities say the bicyclists were riding in a group on a rural road in Cooper Township when Pickett struck them.

Prosecutor Jeff Getting added many new charges, including driving while intoxicated causing death. He declined to describe the "controlled substances." A not-guilty plea was entered.

Separately, Pickett will undergo a mental health exam to determine if he understands all charges and can assist his lawyer.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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