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Accused drunken driver crashes into Make-A-Wish cyclists, killing West Bloomfield man

Posted at 10:13 PM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 23:22:30-04

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — An Ionia County woman is behind bars, suspected of driving drunk and running her SUV into several bicyclists on a charity ride this weekend.

Two bicyclists were killed in the tragic crash in Ionia County's Ronald Township. One of them is Michael Salhaney, a beloved husband, father and attorney for West Bloomfield Township.

"Mike was one of the kindest, most genuine, thoughtful, caring people I have ever met," said Debbie Binder, a friend of Salhaney and a co-worker as the West Bloomfield Township clerk.

Kind is the one word on repeat when you ask someone what Salhaney was like.

"Mike would always be there to answer the call and he would be the one to tell the police chief, 'Chief, it’ll be OK,'" West Bloomfield Township Police Department Chief Mike Patton said.

As the West Bloomfield Township attorney, friends say Salhaney was diligent in his work for his community.

Extremely busy, he was using his free time to raise money for Make-A-Wish when he was hit by an alleged drunken driver around 11 a.m. on July 30.

The driver of an SUV was attempting to pass a UPS truck and slammed into several Make-A-Wish bicyclists. One other Ann Arbor bicyclist, Edward Erickson, was also killed.

Three other bicyclists were injured.

The bicyclists were participating in a three-day endurance ride to raise money for children with critical illness.

It should not go without notice that even in his dying act, the Southeast Michigan man was pushing forward, biking an extremely difficult journey to help others.

"The township, the community and kids lost a really important cheerleader and advocate that day," said Binder.

West Bloomfield Township Supervisor Steve Kaplan said, "Michael Salhaney, he’s one of a kind. He’s just a great guy, he was loved by his coworkers, his family, and we all will miss him forever."