There’s “no indication” that an Arizona motorist intentionally drove his pickup into bicyclists near Phoenix, killing two people and critically injuring a third person, police said Monday.
Pedro Quintana-Lujan’s white Ford F-250 was headed south on Cotton Lane Bridge, going over the Gila River, when he “stuck the barrier wall of the bridge and then the vehicle crashed into 20 cyclists,” Goodyear Police Chief Santiago Rodriguez told reporters.
Karen Malisa, 61, of Goodyear, was pronounced dead at the scene Saturday morning, police said. David Kero, 65, a visitor from Michigan, died at a hospital.
One of the 19 riders who were hit remained in critical condition Monday.
“There is no indication that this was an intentional act or anything other than an isolated incident,” Rodriguez said. Officials “don’t feel that there’s anything out there, like an act of terrorism or anything like that.”
Despite no initial signs of intent, Rodriguez said he was confident a criminal case could be brought against Quintana-Lujan, 26, of Phoenix.
He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail on two 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.
A blood sample taken from the driver was still being evaluated on Monday. It wasn’t clear Monday afternoon whether he had been assigned an attorney or had hired one to speak on his behalf.
The crash happened just before 8 a.m. as riders with West Valley Cycle were on their regular Saturday journey, police said.
Bicycling is a particularly popular activity in Goodyear, Mayor Joe Pizzillo said.
“I offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who were lost and injured in this horrific — and I emphasize horrific — incident,” Pizzillo said. “We have a tight-knit cycling community, so this has deeply affected many across the West Valley.”