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'My friend is in the hospital with extensive injuries': Friend of injured cyclist talks about Goodyear crash

Cyclist says he knows some of the victims hit by pickup truck

PHOENIX — What started out as a day of adventure soon turned into a day of tragedy for a group of cyclists in Goodyear Saturday morning. 

Multiple cyclists were injured and two killed when a pickup truck plowed into the large group riding over the bridge on Cotton Lane. Goodyear police said a woman and man died, while 11 others were taken to three different hospitals with injuries.

As the search for answers continues, a friend of one of those injured in the incident is talking to 12News.

Brandon van Leuven is the co-owner of Trek Bicycle Store of West Phoenix. He said Saturday morning began like any other day. However, things quickly changed and happiness turned to heartache.

"The first thing I know is I've done that ride many times before," he said. "Many of those people are my customers so obviously I'm very much concerned."

The riders were part of the largest cyclist group in the Valley, one that has held rides for more than ten years. Van Leuven said he knew the woman who was killed because she frequented his store a lot. He also said his friend, who also works at the store, was among those hurt and in a hospital with injuries.

"I was actually very surprised," van Leuven said. "Yes incidents do happen, but to hear the amount of people and when a car is involved it was pretty shocking, yeah."

Van Leuven is familiar with the cycling group and said the riders are always prepared while out for a ride and take extra precautions when it comes to safety.

"I think most of us do what we can especially road cyclists," he said. "We get a lot of comments about the clothes we wear, they're bright in color. I know my friend, he religiously uses those lights so cars can see him from a distance. When talking about the riders today most of them use those lights."

According to police, the deadly crash remains under investigation.

"Certainly the investigation is ongoing," Goodyear Police Public Information Officer Lisa Berry said. "It's going to take officers several hours to determine the cause of the crash."

Authorities said the driver involved stayed on-scene after the crash and cooperated with authorities. At this time, police said they're investigating if charges will be filed. Van Leuven said his focus right now is on the victims.

"Right now I'm thinking about my friend getting better," he said. "As bad as today is, when he gets out he'll be back on his bike but right now we're hoping for the best and hoping he has a fast recovery." 

Arizona law says bicyclists have the same right of ways to the roads as vehicles. By law drivers must give at least three feet of space to cyclists but five feet is recommended.

More information about bike laws in Arizona is below:

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