Mandy Marie Benn Ionia drunk driver hits and kills Edward Erickson & Michael Salhaney during Michigan Make-a-Wish charity ride.
Mandy Marie Benn, 42, of Ionia, according to police, was driving while intoxicated northbound on Stage Road when she entered the southbound lane to pass a UPS truck in front of her, only to end up in the path of the bicyclist group. Benn didn’t see the oncoming bicyclists prior to impact. The female driver’s view was unimpeded cops said.
The two victims who died in the crash were identified as Edward Erickson, 48, of Ann Arbor and Michael Salhaney, 57, of Bloomfield Hills. Two of the other three have been treated and released from the hospital. A third individual is in stable condition and expected to recover, FOX2Detroit reported.
Prior to their arduous bike ride, Salhaney had taken to FaceBook Live to say despite the ‘very difficult’ nature of the charity 3 day bike tour, he was inspired by the kids from ‘Make a Wish,’ to push through.
Both Salhaney and Erickson were regular riders of the Make-A-Wish event. For Erickson, it was his ninth year.
They had sought to raise funds for children only to end up making the ultimate sacrifice
Benn was arraigned on two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death/operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, which is a 15-year felony and one count of operating while Intoxicated/ operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, 93-day misdemeanor.
Benn also was arraigned on her second offence notice of operating while Intoxicated, a one year misdemeanor.
She is being held on a 1,000,000 cash/surety bond at the Ionia County Jail the Sentinel Standard reported.
‘It does not appear that Benn saw the on coming bicyclists prior to impact. This incident took place on a straight roadway with no vision obstructions and was not intersection related,’ the sheriff’s office said in a release. ‘We have been in constant contact with Make a Wish Michigan who was the organizer of this event. They have been very cooperative and helpful throughout the entire investigation.’
The third day of the Wish-A-Mile tour was cancelled on Sunday after Saturday’s tragic crash WZZM13 reported.
Stated Make-A-Wish Michigan: ‘It is with heavy hearts we remember our riders impacted by the tragedy yesterday. Our staff and the entire Make-A-Wish family are heartbroken and offer our deepest sympathy for the riders involved, their loved ones, and all members of the Wish-A-Mile (WAM) community during this difficult time.’