‘Be aware:’ The simple message from bicycle accident survivor

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RICHLAND, Mich. — More than a week after a horrific crash left five cyclists dead and four others injured, one of those who walked away is speaking out with an important message.

Sheila Jeske, one of the Chain Gang cyclists hurt in that accident, is using her tragic situation to spread a simple lesson to drivers: watch out on the roadways.

“Physically it’s hard,” said Jeske. “I’m used to getting up and going to the gym, going out and doing physical activity, working a job… the real reality of it hasn’t hit yet.”

There are few details on what caused the driver of the truck involved to swerve off the road that day, but Jeske says in most any circumstance in which a pedestrian is hit, it’s preventable.

“Just be aware when you’re on the road,” Jeske said, “because you’d hate to be in the situation of knowing that you injured or killed someone’s loved one.”

“If it helps other people heal, if it helps me heal, and if it brings awareness to the rights of people doing athletic endeavors whether its biking, running, walking, being on the public roads, if we can get any awareness to drivers - put down the cell phone, focus on driving, and share the road.”

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