Gilbert woman struck, killed by van while riding bike in Yavapai County

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

CORNVILLE, Ariz. -- A Gilbert woman was killed Saturday after being struck by a van while riding her bicycle in Cornville, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office.

Ethelyn Hartline, 48, was reportedly riding her bicycle west on Cornville Road shortly before 12:30 p.m. when she was hit by a westbound 2011 Chrysler van. It happened west of Beaverhead Flats Road.

The driver of the van, 90-year-old Nelson Shaum of Cottonwood, told investigators he thought he had room to pass Hartline and two other bicyclists riding a tandem bike. He indicated he needed to stay inside his lane because of oncoming eastbound traffic, according to the sheriff's office. Cornville Road has only one lane in each direction in the area.

The sheriff's office said that when Shaum tried to pass the bicyclists, the front passenger side of his van collided with Hartline's bike. She was thrown from the bike and hit the van's windshield before landing on the side of the road.

The van then apparently ran over her bike and dragged it a short distance, the sheriff's office said.

The tandem bike was also involved and both riders, 52-year-old David Waechter and his 16-year-old daughter, also of Gilbert, were knocked to the ground and injured, according to the sheriff's office.

Waechter told investigators he and his daughter were slightly ahead of Hartline when the collision occurred, and it is unclear what caused them to be thrown from their bike.

An off-duty nurse rushed to Hartline's aid before firefighters arrived.

Hartline was airlifted to Flagstaff Medical Center in critical condition and died just before 6 p.m.

She was wearing a helmet, according to the sheriff's office.

The other two bicyclists were transported to Verde Valley Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries and later released.

Shaum was not injured.

The sheriff's office said Shaum showed no signs of impairment and consented to a blood test. He was issued a Motor Vehicle Division driver re-examine notice and released pending followup.

The investigation is ongoing.