Let’s start at the beginning: There was an accident during El Tour de Tucson this year.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a car that hit a group of bicyclists this morning near the Westward Look Resort before leaving the scene.
About 60 bicyclists were traveling westbound on Ina Road, east of Oracle Road, at about 10:20 a.m. when a car driving eastbound made a left turn into the resort and hit 10 of the bicyclists, said Deputy Dawn Barkman, a Pima County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman. The driver got out of his car and observed the damage to the vehicle and the bicyclists before getting back into his car and fleeing the scene, Barkman said.
Five cyclists were taken to a local hospital with injuries ranging from critical to non-life threatening, she said.
In a word: Nasty.
It is gets hot in Tucson:
An attorney has identified a “person of interest” relating to the El Tour bicycle collision, deputies say.
Investigators confirm they also have the car that may have been used in the hit and run in Saturday’s El Tour de Tucson.
The driver turned in front of bicyclists as they were riding downhill on Ina Road near Westward Look Saturday.
Ten bicyclists collided with the car. Five had to be taken to the hospital.
One, Garu Stuebe, from Surprise, Arizona, was critically injured.
He is now in a Phoenix hospital, in a medically-induced coma, after undergoing surgery yesterday to remove part of his skull and some brain tissue.
Witnesses say at the time of the accident, the elderly driver got out of his car, surveyed the accident, then got back into his car and drove off.
This is the latest as of Friday, December 5th.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of a hit-and-run bicycle crash involving El Tour de Tucson riders went to the Pima County Attorney’s Office on Friday afternoon.
Deputy Dawn Barkman said the sheriff’s investigation was “inconclusive” and the county attorney will decide if criminal charges will be brought in the incident.
A 91-year-old motorist, William Arthur Wilson, was identified as a “person of interest” in the Nov. 22 collision that injured at least five El Tour de Tucson bicyclists. His name was in a search warrant filed in Superior Court.
I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who behaves in this manner. For those of you who know my personal story, this should come as no surprise.
Mr. Wilson was involved in an accident, he stopped his car, he got out and took a look at the damaged people lying on the ground, and then he made the decision to simply drive away.
The relevant Arizona statute reads as follows:
28-661. Accidents involving death or personal injuries; failure to stop. . .
A. The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of a person shall:
1. Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident scene as possible but shall immediately return to the accident scene.
2. Remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has fulfilled the requirements of section 28-663.
B. A driver who is involved in an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury as defined in section 13-105 and who fails to stop or to comply with the requirements of section 28-663 is guilty of a class 3 felony, except that if a driver caused the accident the driver is guilty of a class 2 felony.
Mr. Wilson clearly violated state law. He made a choice. He got in his car and he drove away. And he should be held accountable for his actions.
I got this email yesterday from Scott Blanchard, a cyclist in Tucson:
Subject: Injured El Tour Rider
In an attempt to persuade the Pima County Attorney’s Office to take action against the driver that hit and injured many riders in El Tour we have formulated a letter asking for such. So many times issues like this get swept under the rug and ultimately are ignored completely. We owe it to the cyclists and families to do anything we can to help. I’m not sure jail is appropriate for the driver but certainly his driving privilege needs to be revoked and he should be held financially responsible for medical bills accumulated by the family. The most seriously injured rider will incur millions of dollars of medical cost and will have ongoing related expenses the rest of his life.
If you feel compelled to help please print and sign the letter and Snail Mail it to the PCAO. The contact and address is listed on top of the letter. Please feel free to mail it as or customize it better represent your sentiments.
Please forward this to anyone you think may be interested in helping.
Thanks and be safe out there.
Download the word .doc here: pcao_letter.
All I ask is that you think about downloading that letter. Just think about it.by