GRATTAN TOWNSHIP — Friends are remembering a cyclist killed while riding his bike in northern Kent County.
Marc Van Otteren, 37, was hit and killed back on April 5th. Friends say the experienced cyclist from Lowell was riding his bike on 5 Mile Road near Murray Lake in Grattan Township when a pickup hauling a trailer hit him.
Robert Hughes called Van Otteren, who was 6'8'', a "gentle giant who often took part in rides raising money for charity."
Hughes said while cyclists know they have to obey the rules of the road, friends and loved ones just can't comprehend how this tragedy happened.
"You really struggle with how somebody can get hit from behind when they're riding obeying the law and they appear to be in the shoulder like that," Hughes explained. "Marc never even knew what was coming."
"I'm a cyclist," he added. "We're just trying to get outside and get some exercise, following the law. If a cyclist wants to be treated like a car, they have to act like a car, which means when we get to stop signs, stoplights, we do obey them. We just want to make sure motorists are aware of the consequences that can happen to a cyclist when something like this happens."
Kent County deputies said the driver of the pickup is a 36 year-old man from Lowell. Alcohol and drugs don't appear to be factors in that crash.