A cyclist from Tucson has died about three weeks after being one of several riders injured when the driver of a pickup truck plowed into participants in a bike race in Show Low.
Jeremy Barrett, 58, was airlifted to Flagstaff Medical Center after the crash, suffering from internal injuries in the June 19 wreck, said Kathryn Bertine, one of Barrett’s many cycling friends.
Things looked grim immediately after the crash, but Bertine said Barrett began to show signs of recovery. However, he suffered a stroke and his condition started to deteriorate over the past few days. He died on Saturday, July 10.
Barrett was a kind and gentle soul, Bertine said. She first met Barrett when she started bike racing in 2007.
“There are two kinds of people you meet when you get into a sport as a beginner, those who are helpful, and those who aren’t,” Bertine said. “Jeremy was so helpful and kind and knowledgeable and just became a dear friend.”
Tucson’s cycling community is a tight-knit group that considers one another family, so Barrett’s loss has affected a lot of people, she said.
David French, another cycling friend, also remembers Barrett as an encouraging and friendly person. French said he wished him good luck a week before the Bike the Bluff race.
“Jeremy was a great athlete and kind person,” French said. “If you had a flat or an issue with your bike, he would always be helpful and stop.”
The accused truck driver, Shawn Michael Chock, 36, was indicted last week on nine counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count each of fleeing an accident and unlawful flight, according to the Associated Press.
Seven bicyclists were injured in the June 19 crash. Police have said Chock sped into a crowd gathered for the annual 58-mile Bike the Bluff race in Show Low. Witnesses described seeing the bodies of cyclists flying left and right, the AP has reported.
Police say Chock fled from the wreckage but was caught outside a nearby hardware store and was shot as police tried to make an arrest. Chock was hospitalized in Flagstaff until his release July 2. He remains jailed in Navajo County.