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Brian Lynch killed two riders who were waiting at a red light

An American man who hit a group of cyclists at a red light in Arizona has to post bail at $1.5 million after hitting at least five of them, two of whom died.

Brian Lynch, 28, has been charged with manslaughter, driving under the influence and various aggravated assault charges after his pickup ploughed into the riders on Thursday afternoon.

Clare Rhoades, 72, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, died at the scene, and Kenneth Vieira, 68, of Tucson, died later in hospital.

One of the group said that Mr Vieira had organised Monday morning rides for the local Cactus Cycling Club since at least 2009.

“Ken's impact is more than just that he led rides,” he told News 4 Tucson. “It's really more a legacy of getting people into riding.

“If you're driving, put down the phone. Don't text and drive. Of course you shouldn't be drinking and driving or doing drugs when you drive.”

“The thing about Ken that hurt me the most was he always focused on safety and being a safe rider,” Pannone said.

News 4 Tucson claimed that the Sheriff’s investigators uncovered that Lynch had used meth and marijuana before the collision.

The truck that hit them belonged to Scott Roofing Co., which issued a statement late Thursday saying its prayers were with the victims' families.

"Scott Roofing Company joins with the entire Tucson community in mourning the loss of those who were killed and injured," the company said. "We are cooperating fully with law enforcement authorities as they continue to investigate today's tragedy."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.