A pick-up truck driver who crashed into a group of cyclists who had just started a race in Arizona has been indicted on nine counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – but is likely to face further charges after one of the cyclists died in hospital.
Shawn Chock, aged 36, who has also been indicted on one count each of fleeing an accident and unlawful flight in relation to the incident in Show Low, around three hours northeast of Phoenix, on 19 June.
The driver was shot by a police officer as he tried to make off from the scene of the crash in which seven cyclists were injured.
One of the cyclists, 58-year-old Jeremy Barrett, has now died from the injuries he sustained when Chock is alleged to have deliberately driven into the group of riders at the Bike The Bluff event.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, AZ Cycling said: “We are heartbroken to hear Jeremy Barrett, who was severely injured in the Bike the Bluff crash, passed away last night.
“Jeremy was a wonderful mentor and friend in the cycling community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Commenting on Mr Barrett’s death, Brad Carlyon, County Attorney for Navajo County, told AZfamily.com: “Once we have received all the law enforcement reports, we will receive to determine if any new charges are appropriate to bring.”
According to officials, some 270 cyclists were competing in the various categories of the 58-mile race, which aimed to raise money for a local school.
Witnesses reported seeing cycle helmets, shoes and broken bikes strewn across the road, and photograph taken at the scene showed the wheel of a bike stuck in the pick-up truck’s grille.
One of those taking part, Tony Quinones, described how he saw the driver veer across three lanes towards a group of fellow competitors.
“I don’t know who the heck this guy is, or what his motive was, but he intentionally did not go left into a parking lot,” he said at the time.
“He drove his truck directly and intentionally into our group, and you could hear him accelerate until he hit that telephone pole.”
Other cyclists ran to the vehicle and were shouting at the motorist to get out, but he instead sped off.
Police set off in pursuit and Chock was shot outside an ACE Hardware store several streets away. He was released from hospital earlier this month after treatment for his wounds.
Chock, who is currently in a Navajo County jail is reported to have a number of arrests for driving under the influence, as well as a number of past convictions.
In 2010, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated DUI and shoplifting and entered a no contest plea to a charge of aggravated assault. He spent more than 16 months in jail from May 2013 after breaching probation conditions.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.