The Latest: Man in court in deaths of 5 Michigan bicyclists

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The Latest on charges in the deaths of five bicyclists near Kalamazoo, Michigan (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

A man charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of five bicyclists in southwestern Michigan has made his first court appearance.

Charles Pickett Jr. heard the charges Friday via video from jail, three days after a group of bicyclists was mowed down by a pickup truck in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township, 160 miles east of Chicago.

Judge Richard Santoni refused to set a bond, saying Pickett is a "danger to the community" and might flee.

Pickett will have a court-appointed attorney unless he decides to hire his own. He says he's unemployed and takes care of his father in the Battle Creek area.

Besides the five deaths, four bicyclists were injured. One was in serious condition while the other three were fair or good Friday.


12:25 p.m.

Federal safety investigators are taking a rare look at a crash that killed five bicyclists in southwestern Michigan.

Eric Weiss, a spokesman at the National Transportation Safety Board, says investigators were at the scene Thursday. He says the NTSB's highway safety staff could make recommendations to prevent a similar tragedy.

Weiss said Friday that it's been decades since the agency has "looked at bicycles and cars and safety."

Five bicyclists were killed and at least four were injured Tuesday when a pickup truck struck the group from behind on a two-lane road in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township. The driver, Charles Pickett Jr., is charged with second-degree murder.

One of the injured was in serious condition Friday. The other three were fair or good.