Goodyear Police questions MCAO decision on driver who crashed into bicyclists
Dec 1, 2023, 7:30 AM | Updated: 10:10 am
(Goodyear Police Department Photo)
PHOENIX — The Goodyear Police Department is questioning the decision by metro Phoenix’s top prosecutor on a case involving a driver who crashed into group of bicyclists earlier this year.
Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said Thursday her office will no longer pursue a case against 26-year-old Pedro Quintana-Lujan because there was not enough evidence to ensure a felony conviction.
Goodyear Police disagreed with the prosecutor’s findings.
“We remain confident in our thorough investigation, and we believe the evidence, facts and circumstances meet the statutory elements for multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses,” Goodyear Police said in a statement. “We are disappointed in the county attorney’s decision as it relates to the felony charges.”
The police department said it would submit the case to city prosecutors for potential misdemeanor charges after it receives official documents declining felony charges from the county attorney.
How were bicyclists killed on Cotton Lane Bridge in Goodyear?
Quintana-Lujan was driving a pickup truck hauling a trailer on Feb. 25 when the vehicle crashed into a group of bicyclists on the Cotton Lane Bridge, a busy highway in Goodyear about 19 miles west of Phoenix.
One bicyclist died at the scene and another died at a hospital. Nearly everyone in the 20-person cycling group was injured.
Quintana-Lujan stayed at the scene. He told police his steering had locked.
He was initially booked into jail on suspicion of two counts of manslaughter and multiple other charges.
In reviewing the evidence, county prosecutors found no indication Quintana-Lujan had been speeding or under the influence of alcohol. He did have a small amount of THC in his system. Quintana-Lujan told investigators he shared a marijuana cigarette the night before.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.