We are deeply saddened to share that a tragic accident took the lives of two cyclists and seriously injured three others during the Make-A-Wish® Michigan 35th Annual Wish-A-Mile® (WAM) Bicycle Tour. While all of our Team Trinity cyclists are safe, the accident has deeply affected everyone involved in the event.
Trinity Health President & CEO has been journaling throughout the ride and shared a final entry.
I expected to be sitting down tonight to write about the awesome a day we had on day two of the WAM – about the great weather, about the challenging 112-mile route and about us still needing to raise more funds for our wish kids. I had planned to show photos along the way and celebrate our team and our wish kids with you.
But this day took a very tragic and sad turn right before noon on a country road just north of Ionia when five WAM riders from the same team were hit by a car. Two of the riders were killed and one rider remains in a medically-induced coma and on life support. The other two riders were discharged from the hospital with minor injuries.
In the 35 years that this event has taken place, we have never had anything like this happen. We have had crashes between cyclists or some minor injuries but never anything like this. I was relieved that none of our Team Trinity riders were involved in the accident but my heart aches for the families of the victims.
When this happened, we were all in disbelief and shock. To now learn the driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated makes it even more painful. I have already imagined many what-ifs but it won’t change anything. Some wonderful people, who have hearts of gold and were riding 300 miles to raise money for wish kids, are gone due to a reckless person who made horrible choices today.
We met with the WAM CEO and staff, spoke with the families and the team captains that have the ear of all the riders. We made a collective decision to cancel the third and last day of WAM (July 31). This is out of respect for the families. Buses and vans will transport all the riders down to the Eaton Proving Grounds in the morning. We will do a tribute ride of a couple miles around the Eaton Proving Grounds track, and then we will all leave quietly and avoid any of the celebratory events that mark the end of the WAM.
This event raised almost $1.8 million through amazing support of friends like you and others who supported our rides. For this, I am so indebted to all of you. And those dollars will so go to wishes waiting right now. I want to thank all of you who supported Team Trinity. It meant the world to us.