Police Shoot Driver Who Struck Cyclists at Arizona Bike Race

Seven people were seriously injured when a man driving a pickup truck plowed into cyclists at a bike race in Show Low, Ariz., the police said. The driver was then shot and wounded by the police.,

Advertisement

Continue reading the main story

Supported by

Continue reading the main story

The driver of a pickup truck hit a group of cyclists at a bicycle race in Show Low, Ariz., on Saturday, seriously injuring seven people before the driver fled and was shot by the police, the authorities said.

The driver of the truck, a black Ford Super Duty, struck the bicyclists during Bike the Bluff, a benefit race, at about 7:25 a.m. local time, the police said.

Officers tried to stop the driver, which “ultimately led to the suspect being shot,” about a mile and a half away, Navajo County Emergency Management and Preparedness said in a statement.

The driver, a 35-year-old man who the authorities said lived in the area, was in stable condition on Sunday morning, the agency said.

Seven people were taken to four hospitals in Arizona and New Mexico. Six were in critical condition and one was in stable condition, the police said on Sunday. One of the injured cyclists was flown to a hospital from the crash scene. Two or three of the victims walked into the hospital, the police said.

“Our community is shocked at this incident, and our hearts and prayers are with the injured and their families at this time,” the county emergency management agency said.

Tony Quinones, 55, of Santa Fe, N.M., said he had been riding for about six minutes with other cyclists ages 55 and over when a black pickup that had been driving in the opposite direction crossed over three lanes and headed toward the cyclists.

He assumed the driver was turning into a parking lot.

Instead, he said, the driver plowed directly into the cyclists who had been ahead of Mr. Quinones in what he described as a targeted attack.

“I don’t know who the heck this guy is, or what his motive was,” Mr. Quinones said in an interview on Saturday. “But he intentionally did not go left into a parking lot. He drove his truck directly and intentionally into our group, and you could hear him accelerate until he hit that telephone pole.”

He said he had seen bikes and bodies flying.

After the driver hit a utility pole, he said, cyclists ran up to the truck and started pounding on the windows, screaming at the driver to get out.

But rather than stop, the driver hit the accelerator and backed out, drove down the road, made a U-turn and then headed back toward the cyclists, he said.

Mr. Quinones said he had feared that the truck was going to hit cyclists again, but it sped past.

By that point, Mr. Quinones said, he had already called 911 and had seen a cyclist, with whom he had shaken hands only minutes earlier, on the ground, bleeding and badly injured.

Mike Godwin, who owns the Cycle Mania bike shop in Show Low with his wife, Carol, said he had been supporting the bikers at the start of the race when the driver struck riders in the men’s master class group.

The driver hit the riders in the first mile and a half of the racecourse, which follows a highway, he said.

Image
“He drove his truck directly and intentionally into our group, and you could hear him accelerate until he hit that telephone pole,” said a bicyclist who was in the race on Saturday.Credit…Jim Headley/The White Mountain Independent, via Associated Press

Cars are allowed on the road with bikers during the race, he said. He said that he did not know who had been hit but that the crash had shaken the local cycling community.

“Everybody is pretty solemn and upset, understandably,” said Mr. Godwin, a sponsor of the race. “No one knows exactly what occurred.”

The crash and the shooting happened at the 13th annual Bike the Bluff race, which follows a 58-mile course through eastern Arizona. A race official referred questions to Show Low city officials.

Show Low is a city of about 11,000 people, roughly 180 miles northeast of Phoenix.

Alyssa Lukpat contributed reporting.

Leave a Reply