Police ID driver who rammed bike riders during Arizona race
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities on Monday identified the man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of bicyclists taking part in a weekend race in an Arizona mountain town, critically injuring several riders, as a resident of a nearby community.
Shawn Michael Chock, 35, of White Mountain Lakes, fled the crash Saturday in Show Low and was shot by police as they chased him, said Kristine Sleighter, a police spokeswoman. Chock is still hospitalized in stable condition and has not been charged.
He is accused of speeding his truck into bike racers gathered just before 7:30 a.m. for the annual 58-mile (93-kilometer) Bike the Bluff race, which had drawn hundreds of participants to the town about a three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix. Witnesses described seeing the bodies of cyclists flying left and right.
Tony Quinones, a cyclist who saw the crash, said some riders wondered at first whether the driver of the truck had fallen asleep at the wheel. But Quinones said he saw the man speed toward the cyclists.
“He went right at us,” Quinones said.
Authorities were trying to determine a motive for the crash.
Seven cyclists were rushed to hospitals, and all but one were listed in critical condition. The other was in stable condition. Sleighter said she had no update on how they are doing.
After crashing into the bicyclists, the driver of the pickup hit a telephone pole, and cyclists ran up to the truck and started pounding on the windows, screaming at the driver to get out, witnesses say.
Quinones said the driver hit the accelerator and backed out, drove down the road, made a U-turn and then headed back toward the cyclists but did not hit them again and drove away.
He was shot by police outside a nearby hardware store. Chock did not comply when officers tried to arrest him, Show Low spokeswoman Grace Payne said, but authorities have not yet given details on the circumstances that led to the shooting.