SHOW LOW, Ariz. - Seven people have been seriously injured after being run over by a truck in Show Low, officials confirmed Saturday morning.
Police say a black Ford truck had hit multiple bicyclists in front of the Horne Auto Collision Center during the city's 13th annual Bike the Bluff Arizona State Championship Road Race. The cyclists had been participating in the men's 55+ category of the event.
Paramedics transported six people to a local hospital. Five of them are in critical condition, and one other is now in stable condition.
One other bicyclist was airlifted to a hospital in the Phoenix metro area for treatment with critical injuries.
Helmets, shoes and crumpled and broken bicycles were strewn across the street after the crash, and a tire was wedged into the grill of the truck, which had damage to its top and sides and a bullet hole in a window.
A view of the wreckage left behind in a collision that left seven bicyclists critically injured in Show Low. (Jim Headley / The White Mountain Independent)
There were two to three other people injured in the collision and went to the hospital as walk-ins. They were in stable condition as well.
The driver fled the scene of the crash before being chased down by police.
Officers pursued the suspect to an area near 3rd Drive and Oliver, and the driver was eventually shot behind an ACE Hardware in the area. The suspect, identified as 35-year-old Shawn Michael Chock of White Mountain Lakes, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Police did not disclose what exactly led up to the shooting.
Tony Quinones, 55, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, told the New York Times that he had been riding for about six minutes with other cyclists ages 55 and over when a black pickup that had been driving in the opposite direction crossed over three lanes and headed toward the cyclists.
He assumed the driver was turning into a parking lot. Instead, the driver plowed directly into the cyclists who had been ahead of Quinones, he said.
"I don’t know who the heck this guy is, or what his motive was," Quinones told the Times. "But he intentionally did not go left into a parking lot. He drove his truck directly and intentionally into our group, and you could hear him accelerate until he hit that telephone pole."
Quinones said he had seen bikes and bodies flying.
After the driver hit a telephone pole, cyclists ran up to the truck and started pounding on the windows, screaming at the driver to get out, he told the Times.
But rather than stop, the driver hit the accelerator and backed out, drove down the road, made a U-turn and then headed back toward the cyclists, Quinones said.
A photo of the truck involved. (Jim Headley/ The White Mountain Independent)
The Show Low Police Department, the Navajo County Sheriff's Office and the Arizona Dept. of Public Safety are investigating.
"Our community is shocked at this incident and our hearts and prayers are with the injured and their families at this time," Show Low officials said in a statement.
The westbound lanes of Highway 60 near Horne Auto Collision Center were closed for the investigation.
276 bicyclists had been registered for the event. Authorities have not confirmed the size of the group that was hit by the truck.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(Jim Headley / The White Mountain Independent)
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