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June 16, 2016
Bicyclist doesn't recall crash that killed 5 fellow riders
By EMS1 Staff
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A bicyclist who survived being hit by a pickup truck that killed five of her fellow riders in southwestern Michigan said she has no recollection of the crash scene.
Sheila Jeske told WOOD-TV she visited the crash site in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township after being discharged from the hospital.
"All I can say it was a beautiful place that they took their final breath," she said.
The 53-year-old woman's injuries from the June 7 crash included a dislocated hip, a broken ankle, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and bruises. Three other riders are recovering from serious injuries.
There are gaps in her memory from that day. Jeske remembers it was a cool night for a ride by the group calling itself "The Chain Gang."
"But that's all I remember. I don't remember putting my foot over the bike seat to start riding," she said. "I have no recollection of the accident scene."
She said that the next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital and asking about her friends.
"I still don't think it's settled in," Jeske said. "I've gone to one of my good friend's funerals and visitation. It seems surreal still."
Killed in the crash were Debra Bradley, 53; Melissa Fevig-Hughes, 42; Fred Nelson, 73; Lorenz Paulik, 74; and Suzanne Sippel, 56. The other injured bicyclists are Paul Gobble, 47; Jennifer Johnson, 40; and Paul Runnels, 65.
The pickup driver, Charles Pickett Jr. of Battle Creek, is charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. He's being held without bond.