Updated February 27, 2023 at 6:45 PM ET
Authorities in a suburb of Phoenix have arrested a driver who crashed into a group of bicyclists over the weekend, killing two people and leaving 17 others injured.
Police in Goodyear, Ariz., took 26-year-old Pedro Quintana-Lujan of Phoenix into custody following the Saturday crash. Quintana-Lujan has been charged withtwo counts of manslaughter, three counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of endangerment and two counts of causing serious injury or death by a moving violation, police said.
Goodyear mayor Joe Pizzillo said the community of about 100,000 residents about five miles west of Phoenix is grieving in the aftermath of the "horrific" crash.
"We have a tight-knit cycling community, so this has deeply affected many across the West Valley," Pizzillo said during a Monday afternoon news conference. "But a tragedy like this affects the entire community of Goodyear."
According to Goodyear Police Chief Santiago Rodriguez, Quintana-Lujan was driving his white Ford F-250 pickup truck over the Cotton Lane Bridge early Saturday morning when he hit a barrier wall and then crashed into the group of 20 cyclists.
Police were called to the scene just before 8 a.m. local time, where they found 19 injured cyclists, two of whom died. Sixty-one-year-old Karen Malisa died on the scene, and 65-year-old David Kero died on the way to the hospital, authorities said.
Malisa was a Goodyear resident, and Kero was visiting the area from Michigan.
One victim remained in the hospital in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, police said.
Rodriguez said there was no indication the crash was intentional but that the investigation was ongoing. The results of a blood sample police obtained from Quintana-Lujan, in regards to possible intoxication, were still pending.
It's unclear whether Quintana-Lujan has retained an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Lisa Berry, a spokesperson for the Goodyear Police Department, said Quintana-Lujan indicated to investigators that he was driving to a work site.
The group of cyclists was out for a regular ride organized by the local organization West Valley Cycle on a set route they follow on Saturdays, founder David Herzog told NPR. There were three groups on the ride, but it was the B group that was struck.
"No one really saw the truck because he pretty much hit the back of the group and came all the way through the group," Herzog told NPR.
Among the West Valley Cycle members, "everyone is suffering immensely," he said.
Herzog wasn't part of Saturday's ride, but he heard accounts of the crash from his wife and others who were there.
Herzog said Malisa, who was good friends with him and his wife, was a middle school math teacher who had a "great heart" and helped anyone in need. Kero was visiting from out of state and was new to the group, Herzog said.
A GoFundMe page set up by Herzog is now raising funds for the families of those who died as well as the riders who were injured and undergoing numerous surgeries.
Herzog said he was grateful for the outpouring of support but that it would be a long road to recovery for the close-knit group that has spent untold hours riding side-by-side. "I don't know how we're going to really recover from this."
The number of cyclists killed by drivers has been on the rise in recent years. The National Safety Council reported that 1,260 cyclists were killed in 2020, an increase of 16% over the previous year. Cycling deaths have also risen some 44% over the past decade.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats (2015-2018) looked at Music Row here in the capital of country music. Western Edge, The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock opened on Sept. 29 and is scheduled to run until 2025. Harris, curiously, became the only star of the Western Edge scene to move to Nashville and have hits in country music. Bob Delevante / Dave Alvin's Fender Mustang guitarThe story extends into the 1980s as California country-rock gets edgier and more eclectic. The Americana idea is a broad one, but one could argue that most of the format’s core history can be found in the Western Edge story.2 months ago WMOT
Updated January 3, 2023 at 3:31 PM ETCalifornia GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy failed to secure the 218 votes necessary to become speaker of the House in a second round of voting after 19 House Republicans voted against him. Both rounds saw 19 Republicans vote for a candidate other than McCarthy. Jordan spoke in support of McCarthy on the House floor just before the second round began, encouraging his colleagues to vote for him. Tuesday's vote was the first time in a century that the election of a House speaker took multiple ballots to complete. McCarthy ran for speaker in 2015 when then House Speaker John Boehner stepped down, but withdrew abruptly from the race after conceding he didn't have the votes to win.2 months ago WMOT
Claire Harbage / NPR / NPR The International Rescue Committee hands out blankets and other winter gear to people in need in Dnipro, Ukraine, in October. Claire Harbage / NPR / NPR Abandonded vehicles with Russian markings are filled with holes in the woods in Izium in October. Claire Harbage / NPR / NPR Voinov closes the gate to an electrical substation after looking at the damage. Claire Harbage / NPR / NPR Voinov with Oleksandr Lysytskyi and his wife, Svitalana Maliarova, look at rubble in their neighborhood. Claire Harbage / NPR / NPR Candles sit on the table in Voinov's home.4 months ago WMOT