On the early morning on Saturday, February 25, Group B of the West Cycle Valley club were crossing the Cotton Lane Bridge in Goodyear, Arizona, when a driver crashed his pickup truck into them, killing two people and injuring an additional 11.
One woman died at the scene, a second cyclist died at the hospital and one of the 11 people hospitalized remains in life-threatening condition.
The driver, identified as 26-year-old Quintana-Lujan, has been taken into custody and faces 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, according to NPR. He’s being held on a $250,000 bond.
Goodyear is a suburb of Phoenix and the crash occurred around 8 in the morning as the group of cyclists were crossing a two-lane bridge. Details of how or why the crash occurred remain unclear. On Monday, February 27, the Goodyear Police Department did state that the incident was
One of the deceased riders was 61-year-old Karen Malisa (in the picture above), a local retired elementary school teacher, mother and avid cyclist.
Her family released a media statement on Sunday, saying: “The community grieves the loss of a teacher, leader, and dear friend from a horrific accident yesterday. As you can imagine it’s heartbreaking. Karen’s Laugh, Smile and Endless energy will be missed by everyone who had the honor of calling her our friend.”
The identity of the other deceased rider was David Carol, who was visiting from Michigan.
To help the injured riders with their medical bills, the West Valley Cycle club has started a GoFundMe page
The local police department took to social media to express their condolences, stating: “The Goodyear Police department is deeply saddened by this tragedy and extends condolences to the loved ones of the victims as well as to the cycling community and the community as a whole.”
Bicyclist fatalities in the U.S. are at a multi-decade high, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with on average nine people getting killed while riding their bikes every single week.
The early 2000s initially showed promise with a decline in bicyclist fatalities and a rise in both riders and bike specific infrastructure. Yet the number of fatalities has been rising since 2011. In the decade that followed, 8,353 people lost their lives while riding bikes, with nearly 1,000 of them in 2021 alone.