Driver hits, kills doctor riding bike in Fountain Hills

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Ariz. -- An afternoon bike ride ended tragically after a hit-and-run left the rider dead at the scene of the crash.

It happened near Shea and Palisades boulevards in Fountain Hills just after 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies think the cyclist, now identified as Dr. Marwan Maalouf, 38, of Scottsdale, was riding in the bike lane going west when the driver hit him from behind and drove off.

The hit-and-run threw Maalouf between 30 and 50 yards, killing him.

Shortly after the incident, a passing motorist noticed the debris on the road. When that driver got to 134th Street, another driver appeared to be inspecting damage to his Chevy pickup. The passing motorist called 911 to report the incident along with the license plate of the suspicious driver.

Deputies found the suspect's abandoned pickup truck and identified the driver as Nicholas Linsk, 33, of Mesa.

Linsk was located and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on a class 2 felony of leaving the scene of a fatal traffic collision.

A judge set Linsk's bond at $90,000.

Deputies don't know how fast Linsk was going, but the speed limit is 50 mph on the road.

Although the Tour de Scottsdale ride went through the area earlier in the day, they don't believe Maalouf had any connection to the race.

Maalouf, a neurologist, was "one of the bright stars" at St. Joseph's Barrow Neurological Institute, according to a statement from the hospital. "Dr. Maalouf was preparing to engage in ground breaking research to identify biomarkers that would be helpful in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's disease."

Click here to read the entire statement