A man under the influence of drugs when he plowed into a pack of Michigan bicyclists, killing five, was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison Monday after a judge expressed dissatisfaction with his apology.
Nine people out on a recreational ride were members of a group called the “Chain Gang.” They were hit on a two-lane rural road two years ago in southwestern Michigan’s Cooper Township.
“I’ll live with this the rest of my life,” Pickett said, crying. “I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and I just want to say I’m sorry.”
But Judge Paul Bridenstine called his apology “woefully inadequate.” He told Pickett that he had many opportunities to stop driving before the crash, 140 miles (209 kilometers) west of Detroit.
A woman who was with Pickett earlier that day told jurors that he had attended a cousin’s funeral and swallowed a handful of drugs.
The dead were three women and two men, ages 42 to 74.
The National Transportation Safety Board said better communication between dispatchers might have alerted police to stop the 52-year-old while he was driving erratically through different communities before the crash.