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Deputies arrest allegedly impaired driver in wreck that kills two bicyclists, injures three others

Deadly accident shuts down La Canada and Hardy
Posted at 1:20 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-13 11:54:07-04

Deputies have released the name of the driver who they say killed two cyclists and injured three others in Oro Valley on Thursday afternoon. 

They say 28-year-old Brian Lynch was driving a Scott Roofing Company truck when he slammed into a group of 10 cyclists who were stopped at a red light on La Canada and Hardy Road.

Deputies say the incident took place around 12:30 p.m. and that the cyclists were using the designated bike lane. Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos says the group was visiting from out of town.

"They've been here for a good part of a week, and they were planning to be here longer just to enjoy our weather and our biking," said Nanos. "It's kind of sad in that regard as well that these people have been here to vacation and they have to face this now."

The impact killed 72-year-old Clare Rhodes on scene. Four others were taken to the hospital, including 68-year-old Kenneth Vieira who later died. Two of the other victims have non-life threatening injuries while another remains in critical condition. 

Deputies say Lynch remained on scene. He is now facing charges of driving under the influence, two counts of manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of aggravated assault with serious injury and criminal damage.

Scott Roofing Company released this statement Thursday night:

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

Rhoades was in Tucson with a riding club from Santa Fe, New Mexico called Seniors on Bikes. A manager at a bike shop near the group's hotel says they came to Tucson because it is known for cycling. The accident happened Thursday and the group had planned to stay longer, but the manager says a few immediately went back to Santa Fe after the accident.

Vieira is a Tucson resident and member of a local group, Cactus Cycling Club. Members of the club who have known him for more than eight years says he was a "huge part of the club". David Bauman, also part of Cactus Cycling Club says Vieira was a very good cyclist.

"He liked to go fast, he liked to test you a little bit," he said.

Bauman says it was sickening and gut-wrenching to hear about the loss of a fellow club member.

Nine On Your Side asked if he feels unsafe cycling.

"It elevates our fear level a little bit - obviously that's our conversation when we're together riding right now. I'm thinking, 'Maybe I should go mountain bike,'" said Bauman.

There will be a memorial ride for Ken Vieira on Monday morning at 10 a.m. It will begin at the Beyond Bread near Oracle and Ina. Vieira led a ride almost every Monday for the past five years from that location.

Lynch is being held on $1.5 million bond at the Pima County Jail.

His court date is set for March 14th at 1:30 p.m.