Reports: Driver in Kalamazoo crash killing 5 bicyclists took pills

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Charles Pickett Jr.

Charles Pickett Jr.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Police reports say a man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of Michigan bicyclists, killing five, took pain pills and muscle relaxers in the hours before the crash.

Charles Pickett Jr. was initially charged with second-degree murder in the June 7 crash and additional charges of driving while intoxicated causing death were added later. A prosecutor has said Pickett was under the influence of drugs, but details weren't previously released.

“Multiple bikers struck in front of Mark & Glenn park on Northwest Hedge. Multiple injured subjects down.” That from a 9-1-1 call.

Police found marijuana, painkillers and muscle relaxers on Pickett when they arrested him. They also found methamphetamine in his vehicle. Also in the report, an officer stationed outside Pickett’s hospital room, said he overheard him telling the Doctors he takes meth and marijuana.

In an interview with police, Pickett’s girlfriend said he took around 20 muscle relaxers and 10 pain pills before the crash.

The reports were obtained Wednesday by the Kalamazoo Gazette from the Kalamazoo County sheriff's department under the Freedom of Information Act. They say investigators also found marijuana and methamphetamine in his truck.

The Associated Press sent an email seeking comment from defense lawyer Alan Koenig. A judge earlier granted Koenig's request for a mental-health exam.

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