IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman is set to face murder charges in the case of a crash that killed two cyclists and injured three others riding in a Make-A-Wish bicycle ride in Ionia County in July, according to court documents.
On Wednesday, charges were filed against Mandy Marie Benn of Ionia for two counts of second-degree murder and three counts of possessing prescription drugs. If convicted, Benn could face up to life in prison and fines.
She has already been charged with ten other counts: Two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury, two counts of reckless driving causing death, two counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment, reckless driving and a second offense operating while intoxicated charge from a previous conviction in 2017, court documents say.
Benn pleaded not guilty on Aug. 1 to the prior charges. She has not yet been arraigned on the murder charges or the possession of prescription drugs, the Ionia County prosecutor said.
The charges stem from a crash that happened on July 30 around 11:15 a.m. in the 3000 block of Stage Road in Ronald Township. Benn was driving northbound behind a UPS truck, the sheriff’s office said. It said when the UPS truck started slowing down to stop, Benn passed it in the southbound lane, driving into the path of bicyclists that were participating in a bicycle tour with Make-A-Wish, called Wish-A-Mile.
Deputies say it appears Benn did not see the bicyclists before she hit them. They say it happened on a straight roadway with nothing obstructing the line of vision.
Two cyclists, Edward Erickson, 48, of Ann Arbor, and Michael Salhaney, 57, of Bloomfield Hills, were killed in the crash. Two of the injured cyclists were treated at the hospital and released. Another was in serious but stable condition and was expected to recover as of Aug. 1.