According to court records, the man responsible for killing two motorcyclists on Tucson’s north side last weekend didn’t know he struck anyone along Roller Coaster Road near North Grande Avenue.
Just after 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 53-year-old Lydia Carter and 41-year-old Benjamin Chavez were hit by a pickup truck while on a motorcycle. Upon arrival, deputies discovered the individuals with “severe” injuries, according to a release from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Chavez was declared dead at the scene. Carter was transported by Northwest Fire District to a local hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
After a brief investigation into the collision, 69-year-old Thomas Allen Waites was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter, criminal damage and DUI. Waites is currently being housed at the Pima County Adult Detention Facility on a $50,000 cash or secured bond.
While speaking with deputies after the collision, Waites said he was driving his 2005 GMC pickup truck towards his home near North La Cañada Drive and West Wetmore Road when he “came up on the hill and around the corner and ‘bam’.”
Waites said he saw a single headlight and something come through his windshield. After striking the motorcycle, Waites said he hit the brakes and slid down a hill “with the motorcycle under the truck.” After the vehicle came to a stop, Waites said he did not approach the motorcycle, look for riders or look at the damage to his truck. He did not talk to any of the people that had stopped at the scene, and was not aware that he’d hit two people, according to an interim complaint filed June 30.
According to the document: “The rest of the motorcycle was found in pieces about half way between the area of impact and where Mr. Waites’ truck stopped.”
Waites told officers he did not feel the effect of any of the alcohol he drank earlier that night, and said the only medication he’d recently taken was prescription acid reflux and blood pressure meds. He also showed officers his cell phone to prove he was not on it at the time of the collision. His next court date is Wednesday, July 10.