Better 911 contacts may have foiled fatal bike crash
DETROIT (AP) — A crash that killed five bicyclists in southwestern Michigan might have been prevented by better communication between 911 dispatchers who got three calls about a reckless driver before he plowed into a pack of riders on a rural road, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
The dispatchers, who worked for three different police agencies in Kalamazoo County, had “limited communication” with each other in the 22 minutes between the first 911 call and the crash last June, the NTSB said in an April 11 report.
Five cyclists were killed and four more were injured in Kalamazoo County’s Cooper Township, 140 miles west of Detroit. Charles Pickett Jr. is facing charges of second-degree murder and driving under the influence of drugs.
“Had they shared information more effectively, police officers from adjoining jurisdictions might have had sufficient time to intercept the driver before the collision with the cyclists,” the NTSB said, in a 3-1 decision, referring to dispatchers.