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0000017b-35e5-df5e-a97b-35edafbc0000When a pickup truck slammed into a group of bicyclists on a rural road in Kalamazoo County on June 7, 2016, five riders were killed and four were seriously injured. In 2016, 38 bicyclists died on Michigan's roadways, a 10-year high. In our three-part series for "Morning Edition" called "Sharing the Road," Michigan Radio's Doug Tribou looks at the current state of bicycling and the future of bike safety in Michigan.Also, a survivor of the Kalamazoo County crash shares the story of how his life has changed in the year since.

Kalamazoo bike crash survivor reflects on conviction of man who killed five cyclists

Man in bike gear standing with bike
Photo by Chris Fry Gobble/Courtesy of Paul Gobble
Paul Gobble is one of the four survivors of a bike crash in Kalamazoo County that killed five bicyclists. In Kalamazoo County Court on Tuesday, a jury convicted the driver, Charles Pickett Jr., of second-degree murder.

In June 2016, a group of cyclists known as the Chain Gang went out for their weekly ride in Kalamazoo County. About 20 minutes later in Cooper Township, a pickup truck plowed into the group, killing five riders. In Kalamazoo County Court on Tuesday, a jury convicted the driver, Charles Pickett, Jr., of second-degree murder. Pickett was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.

Paul Gobble is a member of the Chain Gang and one of the four people who were seriously injured in the crash. He spoke with Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou.  

"I feel a good sense of relief," he said. "I know there was a lot of concern about whether or not the murder two charges would stick and whether or not they were appropriate."

Pickett will be sentenced next month. He could face up to life in prison.

The Chain Gang has planned a dedication and a memorial ride to mark the anniversary of the crash.

Last year on the anniversary, Gobble shared the story of the Kalamazoo crash and how his life has changed since that day. It was part of a series on bike safety called “Sharing the Road.

Doug Tribou joined the Michigan Public staff as the host of Morning Edition in 2016. Doug first moved to Michigan in 2015 when he was awarded a Knight-Wallace journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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