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Gran Fondo participant injured in crash

Becky Vargo • Jun 23, 2018 at 12:08 PM

A 35-year-old Sand Lake woman was injured when her bicycle was struck by a pickup truck at about 11 a.m. Saturday near Miss Lisa’s ice cream shop in Ferrysburg.

An ambulance transported Jillian Kennedy to North Ottawa Community Hospital where she was in good condition after the crash. She suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Sgt. Cal Keuning said he was working traffic detail at the corner of Third and Pine (the 3-way stop) in Ferrysburg for the MSU Gran Fondo bicycle ride. 

“I just chatted with her,” he said of the bicyclist. 

Keuning said he stopped traffic to allow her to proceed on the route and the next thing he knew, people barely a block away were waving at him for help.

Witness Jon Mulder was on Oak Street, stopped at the Third Street intersection and saw the crash.

Mulder said the pickup truck came down the off ramp from northbound, U.S. 31, stopped at Third Street and then proceeded across the road. 

Police said the pickup driver never saw the bicyclist, who was traveling through a shaded area of the street.

Mulder said he honked his horn trying to get the driver’s attention. He said the bicyclist swerved, but couldn’t avoid being struck by the truck.

He said she suffered a leg injury and that it could have been a lot worse if she had not been wearing a helmet.

According to the website, Gran Fondo is Italian for "Big Ride." The Gran Fondo is a long-distance, mass participation event geared toward cyclists of all abilities. The MSU Gran Fondo starts and ends in downtown Grand Rapids and offers multiple lengths through West Michigan. The longest route, 80 miles, goes through Spring Lake and Ferrysburg and out to Ottawa County’s North Beach Park. It continues on a more northerly route back across to Grand Rapids.

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