Police officers believe the accident happened around 11:10 p.m. on Granoit Avenie and 27 Mile Road in New Haven, Mich. A 25-year-old bicyclist identified as Melanie James was struck by a vehicle and killed. James was returning home after working a shift at a nearby Subway sandwich shop.
Reports say the driver of a Geo Tracker initially stopped, realized what happened, and fled the scene on foot. Two girls on their way home from prom spotted James lying in the road and called for help. Emergency crews pronounced James dead at the scene.
Police later found the suspect in an unlocked motor home about a mile away. The man, identified as a 30-year-old from Richmond Township, is believed to have been intoxicated and had stripped down to his underwear when police found him.
The number of bicyclists killed rose by 6 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nationwide, 726 bicyclists were killed and 49,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle-related accidents. Bicycle fatalities make up 2 percent of all motor vehicle-related fatalities. About 48% of bicycle fatalities in 2012 occurred between the hours of 4 p.m. and 11:59 p.m.