Runner hit, killed at Hall & Cascade

7:50 PM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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  • Hall & Cascade Rd., Cascade Township, Mich. (November 4, 2013)

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Friends of a man who was killed while running gathered in his honor Tuesday afternoon.

Jim Kelley, 51, was hit and killed by a car around 6:15 p.m. Monday as he was crossing Cascade Road.

Tuesday afternoon, the running group he often trained with met at the YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids. They say Kelley was an avid runner and has competed in the Boston, Chicago, and Grand Rapid marathons.

Many knew him by his patriotic shorts. Gary Kowalczyk says, "Jim had this thing, one of my boys who started running with us said, 'Who's the guy with the flag shorts?' I said, well that Jim."

Kelley was jogging along the Cascade trail, near Hall Street. It was dark out when he crossed over Cascade Road and was hit by a car. Witnesses say the vehicle had the green light.

Jim's friends say they don't know why he didn't see the vehicle. Investigators haven't said yet if he was wearing reflective clothing.

It's an issue Kowalczyk takes very seriously. He created a flashing vest that he wears at night. "I created my LED vest. I think it works, but there are a lot of products out there, you've got to do something."

Linnae Satterlee says, "He was the most encouraging, supportive, running friend you could have out there. In the running community, it's a tragic loss."

The 45-year old driver had his 7-year old child with him at the time of the crash. Neither of them were injured. At this point, investigators say that it appears that because it was dark, the driver did not see the runner. The investigation is still underway.

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