bike accident
(Photo/Dmitrii Vaccinium)

Driver Accused of Killing 2 Cyclists ‘Didn’t Understand Severity’ of Incident, Attorney Says

The woman who allegedly killed two cyclists during a charity event had prescription meds in the vehicle and failed to comprehend what she’d done, according to a prosecutor.

The 42-year-old Michigan driver involved in a wreck that killed two cyclists on July 30 “didn’t understand” the severity of what happened, a prosecutor said.

Mandy Benn could face more than 30 years in prison for a crash that killed the two cyclists. However, she failed to grasp what had happened, Ionia County Prosecutor Kyle Butler said Monday, according to Michigan Live.

At the scene of the accident, Benn told police that the scene “almost looks real,” Butler told a judge Monday. Butler added that Benn had admitted to taking Adderall and Suboxone before the crash, Michigan Live reported.

Police also found a bottle of another medication in the vehicle, Butler said.

A Tragic Scene

Benn is accused of crashing into a group of cyclists Saturday during a Make-A-Wish Michigan bicycle tour, according to the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office. The incident resulted in the deaths of Michigan residents Edward Erickson, 48, of Ann Arbor, and Michael Salhaney, 57, of Bloomfield Hills.

An additional three cyclists suffered severe injuries from the crash, the sheriff’s office said. Benn’s SUV reportedly struck the five cyclists after it crossed the center line into northbound traffic while trying to pass another vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.

According to Ionia County Court Records, Benn faces charges including two felony counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death. Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Benn also faces a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (second offense).

make a wish
(Photo/Make-A-Wish Michigan)

“It is with heavy hearts we remember our riders impacted by the tragedy yesterday,” Make-A-Wish Michigan wrote on Twitter.

“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 at this time.”

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Andrew McLemore
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An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, which he uses as a home base for adventures throughout the Americas. When he's not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he's hanging out with his dog Campana.