3 bicyclists hit by car in Mesa

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by The Associated Press and Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 7 at 6:05 PM

Map: McDowell Road and 88th Street

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Three bicyclists have been badly hurt in Mesa after the driver of an SUV veered off the roadway and hit them.

It happened mid-morning Saturday on McDowell Road near 88th Street.

Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman officer Chris Hegstrom said the woman in her 60s who was behind the wheel of her SUV was reaching for something at the time.

"She was trying to follow her GPS," Hegstrom explained. "Her GPS lost the signal. She reached for it and took her eyes off the road for just a moment."

While looking at the GPS, her vehicle served right, striking the three cyclists in the bike lane.

It's not clear yet if she was speeding, but she did stop and stay at the scene.

All three bicyclists were men in their 40s. Hegstrom says at least one suffered life-threatening injuries. At last check, all three victims were in critical condition.

The men were with a larger groups of bikers. All of them were wearing helmets.

Investigators said the driver, whose name has not been released, did not appear to be impaired, but she was distracted.

"When you take your eyes off the road and you try to divert your attention to something else, things like this happen," Hegstrom said. "That's why we encourage you, once again, to keep your eyes on the road."

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