By BRIAN WITTE and WALTER BERRY
PHOENIX (AP) — Bicyclist Tony Quinones had solely simply shaken palms with a fellow bike owner and wished him good luck on this weekend’s group race in an Arizona mountain city when a truck sped right into a crowd of motorbike riders.
All of a sudden, Quinones mentioned in an interview Sunday, he was “watching our bodies occurring prime of the hood, our bodies going to the left, our bodies going to the suitable” about six minutes after the race had began.
The sounds of breaking and smashing because the truck plowed via the cyclists on Saturday was rapidly changed by their groans of ache — together with these of the bike owner Quinones had simply met.
Authorities within the small metropolis of Present Low mentioned the unidentified 35-year-old male suspect fled the crash scene within the pickup and was shot and wounded by officers a short while later.
Of the seven cyclists hospitalized, six have been in important situation, and one was in secure situation on Sunday, police mentioned in an announcement. The suspect, described as a neighborhood resident, was in secure situation, police mentioned.
Quinones, 55, mentioned the person he had met earlier than the race was a fellow New Mexican and that blood was flowing from his head and his nostril after the pickup hit him.
“He’s obtained a compound fracture, and I’m simply saying, ‘Hey man maintain respiration, maintain respiration. Assist’s on its method. Hey man, you’re going to be OK.’” Quinones mentioned. “I imply, that’s simply insane. It’s not only one. There’s like six, seven, eight different guys like who’re throughout doing the identical factor.”
Authorities have been making an attempt to find out why the person driving the truck rammed into the group of cyclists taking part within the annual 58-mile (93-kilometer) Bike the Bluff race that drew a whole lot of individuals. He was shot by police close by outdoors a ironmongery store in Present Low, which is a few three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix.
“We don’t know the motivation,” mentioned Present Low metropolis spokeswoman Grace Payne.
Quinones mentioned some cyclists puzzled at first whether or not the driving force of the truck had fallen asleep on the wheel. However Quinones mentioned he noticed the person speed up towards the cyclists.
“He went proper at us,” he mentioned.
Witnesses mentioned helmets, footwear and crumpled and damaged bicycles have been strewn throughout the road after the crash, and a tire was wedged into the grill of the truck that rammed the cyclists at about 7:25 a.m. in downtown Present Low.
“I simply keep in mind, you realize, that is surreal,” Quinones mentioned. “I can’t imagine I simply shook this man’s hand and we wished one another luck, and now I’m watching him with blood in all places. And never a bit blood. It wasn’t trickling out. There’s like a pool of blood.”
The truck had harm to its prime and sides and a bullet gap in a window.
“This has been a horrible occasion,” police spokeswoman Kristine Sleighter mentioned in an announcement. “Our group is shocked at this incident and our hearts and prayers are with the injured and their households right now.”
After the truck’s driver hit a phone pole, cyclists ran as much as the truck and began pounding on the home windows, screaming on the driver to get out. As a substitute of stopping, Quinones mentioned the driving force hit the accelerator and backed out, drove down the highway, made a U-turn after which headed again towards the cyclists however didn’t hit them once more and drove away.
Payne mentioned the driving force didn’t comply when officers tried to arrest him, however the circumstances of the taking pictures weren’t instantly made public.
Witte reported from Annapolis, Md.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.