Update: Police Rule on THESE Gruesome Deaths

Police are ruling it an accident. There’s been an update to the gruesome deaths involving a group of cyclists near Goodyear, Arizona. The driver of a pick up truck which drove through a group of around 20 bicyclists Saturday morning claims his steering locked up. Police are still checking out his story.

Police issue update

Goodyear Police Chief Santiago Rodriguez held a press conference on Monday, February 27, to update the public on the cause of a horrific crash.

Two victims were killed, one instantly, while most of the others were seriously injured. It happened around 8 a.m. on the Cotton Lane Bridge in Goodyear, Arizona. The community is located about 19 miles due west of Phoenix.

For now, police say the act was not intentional and “appears to have been an accident.” That doesn’t mean that 26-year-old Pedro Quintana-Lujan is off the hook. There will still be a thorough investigation. According to Chief Rodriguez, “the driver told officers his steering locked.” Pedro was allegedly “headed to work with materials he picked up for a job.

He was driving a Ford F-250 and also admitted smoking a joint with his wife the night before. Blood tests are pending but that’s not considered a factor, if it’s really all he smoked and the last time he smoked it. An “officer on the scene” reported that “the steering rack of the truck was intact, all bolts and nuts appeared to be secured, and all of the major frame elements of the vehicle were in place with no damage.

There is no indication that this was an intentional act or anything but an isolated incident.” The police report notes Quintana-Lujan told officers “he was driving in the left of two northbound lanes when his steering locked and he drifted into the vacant right lane, then into the adjacent bike lane where he heard ‘a sound similar to metal.

His steering seems to have failed at exactly the wrong time. He also doesn’t say he was aware of the cyclists before he ran them over.

Stopped in middle of the bridge

Pedro related to police that “he let off the gas and regained steering control, then turned left and stopped in the middle of the bridge.” Accident reconstruction indicates that “when Quintana entered the bike lane he also struck the concrete barrier that separates the roadway from a sidewalk, leaving black tire marks halfway up the wall.” That’s when he struck “several cyclists.

Additional news reports add that the suspect “traveled for roughly 520 feet before finally coming to a stop. Police documents show that he’d only braked for the final 87 feet.” There weren’t any “signs on scene of any evasive action taken after striking the jersey barrier with no braking, tire marks, gouges, or skidding from the vehicle to show an attempt to avoid more hazards.

Police booked Mr. Quintana-Lujan into Maricopa County Jail on Sunday. He’s charged with “suspicion of 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.” His first appearance in court is set for March 3.

One person remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition.” Last minute updates note the charges were tossed by the prosecutor. It doesn’t make sense to charge him until the investigation is complete, since there are so many inconsistencies.

Police also identified the victims as “Karen Malisa, 61, of Goodyear, Arizona, and David Kero, 65, who was visiting from Michigan.” The area has an avid cycling community and they’re still in shock over the tragedy.

Several bikes “were broken into pieces,” while the truck “had clothing affixed to the undercarriage of the exhaust as well as several pieces of garments lodged in the rear axle u-joint.

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