The Tucson Police Department is actively investigating a bicycle collision that took the life of 73-year-old Richard E. Ellwanger that occurred Thursday morning in the on the road to A Mountain.
On October 11, 2018, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Tucson Police officers and members of the Tucson Fire Department were dispatched to A-Mountain for a report of a serious injury bicycle collision. Upon arrival, Mr. Ellwanger was found unresponsive near the top of the mountain. Tucson Fire immediately transported the victim to Banner University Medical Center with life threatening injuries.
The vehicle and driver, 20-year-old Yanibra Moreno, were found near the base of the mountain where the vehicle had collided with several large landscaping rocks in the parking lot. During the initial investigation, officers noticed signs and symptoms of impairment from the adult female driver. She was transported to the hospital due to the level of her intoxication and for minor injuries sustained during the collision. Her adult male passenger was not injured.
Moreno was released from the hospital and booked into Pima County Jail on one count of Second Degree Murder (Class 1 Felony), one count of Leaving the Scene of a Collision Causing Serious Injury or Death (Class 2 Felony) and three counts of Endangerment (Class 6 Felony).
Detectives were able to determine that a silver 2002 Lexus GS300 exited the parking lot at the top of the mountain and drove the wrong way down a one-way road. At the same time, the cyclist involved was riding his bicycle up the mountain in the correct direction. On the north side of the mountain, the Lexus struck the cyclist head-on, causing him to be thrown from his bicycle and into a ditch on the side of the roadway. The driver did not stop after the collision and continued down the road in the wrong direction. As the Lexus approached the bottom of the mountain, it struck an adult male and female pedestrian that were walking in the area. The Lexus brushed up against the pedestrians, knocking the female to the ground and causing minor injuries to both. The Lexus then continued down the road and entered the lower parking lot at a high rate of speed, where the vehicle eventually crashed into several large boulders and came to rest. The driver and passenger exited the vehicle and began to walk away, but were stopped by several witnesses who convinced them to wait for the police. The investigation revealed that speed and impairment were both factors in the collision.
Mr. Ellwanger was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.