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‘Finish the Ride,’ remembering the Kalamazoo Bike Tragedy one year later

Posted at 6:46 AM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 11:37:44-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Today marks one year since the Kalamazoo biking tragedy where five people lost their lives.

The Chain Gang, a group of cyclists in Kalamazoo, took to the road on June 7, 2016 for a normal ride when day turned tragic.

Charles Pickett Jr was driving recklessly on N. Westnedge Avenue when the group of bicyclists were struck. Larry Paulik, Tony Nelson, Suzanne Sippel, Melissa Ann Fevig-Hughes and Debra Ann Bradley were killed, and four others were injured.

On Wednesday the community will come together to remember the five lost and the four survivors with a memorial mass at the St. Thomas More Student Parish beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Jennifer Johnson, Sheila Jeske, Paul Gobble and Paul Runnels, the four survivors, will be in attendance to greet people as they arrive to the mass.

There are also two memorial rides planned for the Kalamazoo area.

Take a 28 mile ride through Plainwell or follow the route the group took last year for a 12 mile ride. The rides begins at 6 p.m. and those that want to participate should meet at 3025 Gull Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49048 in the Kalamazoo County Health Services' parking lot.

Online registration is closed, but onsite registration will be available for $20. All participants will also receive a 'Finish the Ride' wristband.

Funds collected from this event will go towards constructing a memorial for the victims and survivors. Any remaining donations will go towards promoting biking safety and advocacy.