Vigil for bicyclist killed on A-Mountain
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A 20-year-old driver is facing several felony charges, including second degree murder, after a deadly drive down 'A' Mountain Thursday morning.
According to Tucson police, Yanibra Moreno was intoxicated when she drove the wrong way down the mountain, on the one-way road, and hit 73-year-old cyclist Rick Ellwanger. Ellwanger was transported to the hospital, where he passed away from his injuries.
TPD said Moreno continued to drive down the mountain, hitting a man and woman walking along the path. She stopped after crashing into boulders at the base of the mountain. Police said Moreno and a passenger were attempting to leave, but witnesses persuaded them to stay on the scene.
“I’ve seen cars passing over the double yellow to pass the other cars, I’ve seen cars slammed into the rocks up here," Ignacio Rivera de Rosales said Thursday evening.
Rivera de Rosales said he bikes up Sentinel Peak Road several times a week and is well aware of the dangers that can come from all directions.
“This is a place of recreation and unfortunately, people use it as vehicular recreation so they drive amazingly fast up and down the mountain. They also use it as a place to drink and partake in other activities," said Rivera de Rosales.
TPD stated when officers arrived on scene, it was obvious there were signs of impairment. Rivera de Rosales said he was not surprised to hear the driver was drunk.
“You walk around the mountain a little bit, you are going to see broken glass bottles everywhere, you are going to see all sorts of other trash, you are going to see all sorts of other drug paraphernalia as well," Rivera de Rosales said.
A neighbor who lives near the base of the mountain, in the Panorama Estates neighborhood, shared those same concerns Thursday. He said drivers often speed up and down Sentinel Peak Road.
A memorial has been organized for Saturday on 'A' Mountain to remember Ellwanger, who a friend said played a big role in the cycling community.
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