Caledonia man charged in crash that killed bicyclist

Deputies investigate after two bicyclists were struck by a vehicle in Gaines Township (July 15, 2017).

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Caledonia man is facing charges after crashing his Jeep into two bicyclists, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

Gerald Geerligs, 83, faces one misdemeanor count of moving violation causing death in the July 15 crash on Hanna Lake Avenue, south of 92nd Street in Gaines Township.

Clarence Doornbos, 76, and Claire Elgersma, 69, were riding their bicycles south on Hanna Lake Avenue at 7:49 a.m. when they were struck by the SUV driven by Geerligs.

Clarence Doornbos, Claire Elgersma
Claire Elgersma (left) and Clarence Doornbos (right) in a 2013 photo courtesy Doug Lutke.

Doornbos died of his injuries at a local hospital. Elgersma was seriously injured.

Deputies on scene did not believe fog was a factor in the crash. Authorities said Elgersma was wearing a high-visibility top.

Geerligs was officially arraigned last month. The charge brought against him is punishable by up to one year in jail. He pleaded not guilty.

Tuesday, Geerligs’ attorney met with the prosecutor for a pre-trial conference, which was not held in open court. Geerligs and his attorney declined to comment on the case.

Within the next few weeks, attorneys in the case will meet again to determine whether a plea deal will be offered and whether or not Geerligs will accept it. It’s still unclear if the case will go to trial or if Geerligs will face any jail time.