KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Law enforcement in Kalamazoo responded today to a National Transportation Safety Board report that said better communication could have prevented the deadly cycling crash in 2016.
The NTSB report was released Wednesday and said that the dispatchers from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office and Kalamazoo Township Police, didn’t communicate with each other after getting reports of an erratic driver on the night of June 7. That truck crashed into a group of nine bicyclists about 20 minutes later, killing five riders.
Local leaders responded Thursday calling the report a “disservice to all stakeholders involved in this incident, particularly the victims and their families.” They say they stand by their dispatchers and want the NTSB to correct errors in the report, although they aren’t specific as to what those errors may be. They say they can’t reveal some of that information because of the upcoming criminal case against the driver, Charles Pickett, which is set to start next week.
They say after the trial, the would welcome the opportunity to discuss the details of the report.