A truck rushes into a bicycle race in Arizona; driver shot dead by cops after chase | News, Sports, Jobs

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This photo provided by Tony Quinones shows the aftermath of a truck hitting a crowd of bikers on Saturday, June 19, 2021 in Show Low, Arizona. Authorities in the small town of Show Low said the unidentified 35-year-old suspect had fled. the scene of the accident in the pickup and was shot and injured by officers shortly thereafter. Of the seven cyclists hospitalized, six were in critical condition and one was in stable condition on Sunday, June 20, 2021, police said in a statement. (Tony Quinones via AP)

PHOENIX (AP) – Cyclist Tony Quinones had just shaken hands with another cyclist and wished him luck with this weekend’s community race in a mountain town in Arizona when a truck pulled over dark on a crowd of cyclists.

Suddenly, Quinones said in an interview on Sunday, it was “Look at the bodies that go on the hood, the bodies that go to the left, the bodies that go to the right” about six minutes after the start of the race.

The crashing and crashing noises as the truck passed the cyclists on Saturday were quickly replaced by their moans of pain – including those of the cyclist Quinones had just encountered.

Authorities in the small town of Show Low said the unidentified 35-year-old suspect fled the scene of the crash in the van and was shot and injured by officers shortly after.

Of the seven cyclists hospitalized, six were in critical condition and one was in stable condition on Sunday, police said in a statement. The suspect, described as a local resident, was in stable condition, police said.

Quinones, 55, said the man he met before the race was a compatriot from New Mexico and blood was flowing from his head and nose after the pickup hit him.

“He’s got an open fracture, and I’m just like, ‘Hey man, keep breathing, keep breathing. Help is coming. Hey man, you’re gonna be okay. ‘ “ Quinones said. “I mean, it’s just crazy. It’s not just one. There’s about six, seven, eight other guys doing the same thing.

Authorities were trying to determine why the man driving the truck crashed into the group of cyclists participating in the annual 58-mile (93-kilometer) Bike the Bluff race that drew hundreds of participants. He was shot dead by police near a hardware store in Show Low, about a three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix.

“We don’t know the motivation” Show Low City spokesperson Grace Payne said.

Quinones said some cyclists first wondered if the driver of the truck fell asleep while driving. But Quinones said he saw the man accelerate towards the cyclists.

“He went straight for us” he said.

Witnesses said wrinkled and broken helmets, shoes and bikes were strewn across the street after the crash, and a tire was stuck in the grille of the truck that hit cyclists around 7:25 a.m. in the center -City of Show Low.

“I just remember, you know, it’s surreal,” Quinones said. “I can’t believe I just shook hands with this guy and we wished each other luck, and now I’m looking at him with blood all over the place.” And not a little blood. It was not escaping. There is like a pool of blood.

The truck had damage to its roof and sides and a bullet through a window.

“It was a horrible event” Police spokeswoman Kristine Sleighter said in a statement. “Our community is shocked by this incident and our hearts and prayers are with the injured and their families at this time. “

After the truck driver hit a telephone pole, the cyclists ran to the truck and started banging on the windows, yelling for the driver to get out. Instead of stopping, Quinones said the driver stepped on the accelerator and backed up, rolled down the road, turned around, then walked towards the cyclists but did not hit them again and left.

Payne said the driver did not comply when officers tried to stop him, but the circumstances of the shooting were not immediately made public.

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