Lawyer, authorities talk in Lake Orion cyclist’s death

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Susan Cummings loved to stay active and help others.

The 50-year-old Lake Orion resident combined both passions last weekend, when she planned to join a group of bicyclists riding from Muskegon County to Bay City. Their aim was to raise money for Hope Water Project, an effort through Kensington Church to provide wells in Kenya.

“She just liked giving back. That was important to her,” said Karrie Wirth, her oldest daughter. “It’s how she was raised and how she raised her family.”

Early Saturday, while preparing for her bike ride, the registered nurse was struck in Montague Township by a truck that drove away, authorities said. Cummings died at the scene.

Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler told The Muskegon Chronicle the crash happened in “an instant” and witnesses weren’t able to get license plate information from the truck — described as a gray or silver pickup — that hit her.

Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson said he met with with Detroit-area attorney Brian Dailey, who shared information about the accident. Dailey hasn’t publicly disclosed his client’s role in the crash.

Hilson said Dailey told him his client is full of “remorse and sorrow.” Hilson said no charges will be immediately filed.

Roesler said the incident is still under investigation.

Silent Observer is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information.

Cummings’ family also is seeking answers.

“We just want someone to take ownership,” Wirth said. “She was a radiant life. … Just come forward. Take responsibility. That’s what she would say.”

Cummings, a pastor’s daughter, grew up in Oakland County and was a longtime member of Kensington, Wirth said.

She earned a degree in medical laboratory technology from Oakland Community College, studied nursing at the University of Michigan-Flint and became a critical care nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, her daughter said. “She just liked helping people — she really did,” Wirth said. “It brought her joy to help people and be there for them.”

Cummings had long supported the Hope Water Project and ran a marathon in support of it in 2013, group members wrote in a statement on its website.

“We are heartbroken to hear that this occurred while she was serving others by raising money for the Pokot tribe in Kenya,” the statement read. “ … Our entire Kensington Church community is grieving with the Cummings family and praying for them during this difficult time.”

Cummings also had “medals on medals” from participating in other races and marathons, Wirth said, and kayaked with a friend the day before her death.

“She had the most vibrant personality. She was the most outgoing person. People were just drawn to her,” Wirth said. “She lived life to the fullest extent possible.”

Survivors include two other children, Kenny and Kristina; a companion, Roddy Meyer; siblings Sandra, Thomas, Shirley and Stephanie; and four grandchildren.

Visitation is 4-8 p.m. Wednesday and 4-7 p.m. Thursday at Simpson-Modetz Funeral Home, Riverside Chapel, 5630 Pontiac Lake, Waterford. Services are 1 p.m. Friday at Kensington Church, 1825 East Square Lake Road, Troy.

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