Permanent memorial planned to honor Kalamazoo cyclists

COOPER TOWNSHIP, MICH. - There are plans for a permanent memorial for the Kalamazoo cyclists killed last year.

In fact, the money raised from Wednesday's memorial ride will go directly towards a memorial on Westnedge Avenue.

►Related: Hundreds pedal through Kalamazoo to mourn bicyclists killed in crash

That's less than a quarter of a mile away from the accident scene.

This location will make the memorial safer and more accessible to the community.

Last year, five cyclists were killed and four others were injured when a truck crashed through their group on Westnedge. 

The injured were Paul Gobble, 47; Sheila Jeske, 53; and Paul Runnels, 65; all of Richland, and Jennifer Johnson, 40, of Kalamazoo. 

The driver of the truck, Charles Pickett Jr., was to stand trial for the in the first week of April 2017 for second-degree murder charges and driving while intoxicated, causing death. However, that trial was delayed after a judge approved a request to allow Pickett to be evaluated at a state forensic center. 

When Pickett was found by police, there was marijuana, methamphetamine, beer and liquor inside of his truck. Pickett's girlfriend also told police that he had taken nearly 30 pills about an hour and a half before the deadly crash. 

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