After five bicyclists were hit by her vehicle while riding in the summer charity event , a woman was ordered to stand trial for second-degree murder.
Raymond Voet, a judge in Ionia County District, stated that Mandy Benn was under the influence of a “cocktail” of drugs during Thursday’s preliminary hearing. MLive.com reports that Benn had only therapeutic amounts of medication in her system.
Voet said that Benn, 42 years old, acted with “wanton, willful… disregard for life.”
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Kyle Butler, Ionia County Prosecutor, stated that Benn was passing a UPS truck on July 30, on a rural road near Ronald Township. She crossed the center line and struck the bicyclists participating in a three-day endurance race for Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Ronald Township is located northeast of Grand Rapids.
Butler said that Benn was clean of alcohol, but she had trouble following instructions and slurred speech.
Edward Erickson (48), of Ann Arbor and Michael Salhaney (57), of Bloomfield Hills were both killed. Three other men were also hurt.
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WZZM-TV reported the accident to WZZM-TV. The woman lives on the same road as the bicyclists.
Shoni Mayle testified that her window faced the road and she saw a human body fly through the air.
Benn looked confused and disoriented after the bicyclists were struck, Ionia County sheriff Detective Sgt. Phillip Hesche testified.
Hesche stated, “She looked straight at me and said, ‘Wow. Officer that almost looks real.'” That was a surprise to me. It was almost as if she was on another planet.
Geoffrey French was a supervisor of the state Police toxicology unit and testified that Benn had three prescription drugs. Prosecutors claimed she didn’t have a prescription for any of the drugs.
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French agreed with Walter Downes, the defense attorney, that her system contained therapeutic levels of medication. French stated that none of the results were “super, super large.”
He said that the medication can cause adverse effects while being interrogated by the prosecution.