Man Arrested After Backing Out Of Driveway, Killing Motorcyclist

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jun 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-10 18:49:55-04

The man accused of backing out of his driveway, then hitting and killing a Hastings man on a motorcycle is under arrest.

The accident happened near the intersection of M 43 and Cloverdale in Hope Township.

Michigan State Police say Tobias Bowers was the pickup truck driver involved in the hit and run crash Sunday afternoon, just before 5 pm.

Neighbors say  Tobias was backing out of his own driveway when he hit Bill Madden on his bike.

“Just before he put the bike on its side, and hit his brakes, he looked at me,” said Craig Riley, a witness to the accident.

The 13-year-old was taking out the trash when he spotted Madden heading south on M 43 on his brilliant blue and gold “Michigan” themed bike.

Craig said they locked eyes, then the unthinkable happened.

He said his neighbor Tobias Bowers, backed out of his driveway at the same time, and the two collided.

Bill flew off his bike and was hit by a van.

“It happened within seconds and I ran home and got my mom and did everything I could,” said Craig.

Jeffery Heinsen, Craig’s dad, gave Bill CPR until medics arrived.

“You have a responsibility as a citizen to be a good Samaritan,” said Jeffery.

Bill was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, which gave Craig some hope at first, but it became clear he wasn’t breathing.

“They had to remove it to get his airway open,” said Craig. “Unfortunately that didn’t work out either,” said Craig.

The man under arrest, Tobias Bowers, has been in trouble with the law before.

He was convicted of domestic violence for incidents in 2005 and 2008, and driving while impaired in 2007 in Barry County.

Craig said Bowers and a different neighbor had been fighting only moments before he got into his truck.

“He  was angry,” said Craig.

Craig said that he also appeared that Tobias was drinking.

“Even when you`re angry you can walk straight, but every time he would take a step, he would wobble a few inches to the left or right,” said Craig.

Bill Madden was a baseball enthusiast and a family man. He had pictures of hunting trips with his daughters filling his memoirs.

His family said that Bill served in the military for 28 years, with 14 spent with the Air National Guard in Battle Creek.

Craig and his family didn’t know him personally before the accident, but they say their hearts are breaking regardless.

“That man is somebody`s son and father and had a family and you really want to see a positive result and it`s really hard to not,” said Jeffery.

Tobias Bowers is charged with