Breaking News
More () »

Deaths of cyclists in Goodyear crash mourned by community

Karen Malisa, a teacher and mother, was one of two people killed Saturday morning in Goodyear.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Goodyear investigators continue to look into a deadly crash that injured more than a dozen cyclists, two of them dying from their injuries.

12News learned Karen Malisa was one of the cyclists who died according to a close friend. 

In a statement about Malisa, her family said:

"The community grieves the loss of a teacher, leader, and dear friend from a horrific accident yesterday.  As you can imagine it’s heartbreaking.  Karen’s laugh, smile and endless energy will be missed by everyone who had the honor of calling her our friend."

Police said the other victim killed in the crash was a man visiting from out of town who has not been named at this time.

It was early Saturday morning when Goodyear Police said the driver of a truck crashed into the cyclists on Cotton Lane Bridge. Malisa died at the scene. The other victim was transported to the hospital where he died. Several others were sent to various hospitals due to their injuries.

The suspect has been identified as Pedro Quintana-Lujan, 26. He is currently facing a total of 25 charges including aggravated assault, manslaughter, and endangerment.

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

The crash weighed heavy on the minds of cyclists in the Valley.

“I mean it was heart-wrenching," said Su Byron, who was riding with her husband in Scottsdale. "They were just out for a great ride on that beautiful day.”

Byron and others said they stick with designated bike paths instead of traveling on main roads because of the potential dangers.

“We’re on bike paths all the time,” Byron said.

Evelyn Rogers and her friend Marlene Kort also stick to the trails.

“It’s heartbreaking," Rogers said. "It gives us more pause, more concern for being out there on the roads.”

Cyclists in Arizona have the same rights to use the roads as everyone else. However, in Rogers' experience, it doesn't make them feel any safer.

“We saw one on our ride just now," Rogers said. "He went straight through a crosswalk where we had right away and he was on his phone.”

Goodyear police announced they will be holding a press conference Monday afternoon to talk about this deadly crash.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back in with 12News for the latest updates.

Below are some tips for sharing the roadway safely with cyclists:

Up to Speed 

Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.


Before You Leave, Check This Out