Amy Alexander Police Report Sheds No Light on Why SUV Drifted Into Bike Lane, Killing Cyclist; Kids Noticed What Mom Didn't

A police report on the April 11 collision that killed bicyclist Shawn McCarty sheds no light on why Scottsdale resident Amy Alexander's SUV drifted into a bike lane.

Alexander's Chevy Tahoe slammed into the back of McCarty's bicycle on a Sunday afternoon, causing the 53-year-old to fly into the air and roll to a stop on a sidewalk more than 100 feet away.

A witness in another vehicle following the black Tahoe in the right-side lane of Thompson Peak Parkway told cops that the SUV began to "drift" seconds before the impact.

"The bike rider was well over to the right, inside the bike lane," the witness told an officer. "The SUV just continued to drift and then collided with the bike rider."

Both vehicles stopped immediately and witnesses saw Alexander get out of the SUV, screaming, "Oh, my god!"

Police determined Alexander had been traveling between 38 and 42 mph; the posted speed limit was 45. Alexander didn't seem impaired by drugs or alcohol, but an officer checked her eyes anyway for signs of substance use.

Alexander did make some statements to investigators at the scene, contrary to what police told us before. She and her two children, ages 6 and 9, had been on the way home from the kids' grandfather's house and "was not in any type of hurry."

"She did not recall seeing the victim on his bike and suddenly struck him," the report states.  "Amy said that she thought he was in her lane of travel when the accident happened."

She added that she wasn't sure whether McCarty was in her lane.

But her two young kids, riding with her, apparently noticed what Alexander did not.

"Both of Amy's children stated that the victim was in the bicycle lane when she struck him," the report states.

Alexander was "extremely upset" and asked repeatedly how McCarty was doing.

McCarty suffered injuries including a severe head wound, though he had been wearing a helmet. He died after being taken to the hospital.

Alexander was cited for unsafe passing of a bicycle and driving in the bike lane, both civil traffic violations. She paid a $420 fine.

In a list of "violations/behavior" in the report, police checked "unsafe passing" and "inattention/distraction" on the part of Alexander, and "no improper action" by McCarty.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern