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Hit and run driver charged in bicyclist’s death

Charles Driggers died Friday August 26, nine days after being struck in a hit and run crash.

Charles Driggers died Friday August 26, nine days after being struck in a hit and run crash.

A Grand Rapids man that struck a bicyclist on August 19 and then left the scene, is now being charged in the man’s death.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Benjamin VanderPloeg, of Grand Rapids, was traveling westbound on Cannonsburg Road, east of Chauncey Avenue on August 17, about 8:19 p.m., when he struck bicyclist Charles Driggers, 66, from behind. The driver then left the scene.

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

Benjamin A. Vander Ploeg

VanderPloeg was later arrested and charged with driving while license suspended causing serious injury, and failing to stop at a serious injury accident in relation to this incident. However, the victim died on August 26 of his injuries, and two new charges were added Wednesday, August 31: driving while license suspended causing death; and failing to stop at a serious injury accident causing death.

Bond was set at $200,000. The suspect is still in custody.

Driggers was reportedly training for an Iron man competition when the crash occurred.

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