MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A 29-year-old man is facing charges after police say he let his car drift into a bike lane, hitting and killing a bicyclist Tuesday evening.
Investigators said Zachary Taylor admitted using heroin and methadone.
The Mesa Police Department tweeted about Taylor's arrest late Wednesday afternoon, just shy of 24 hours after the deadly wreck.
It happened just after 5 p.m. Tuesday on McDowell Road just east of Higley Road.
According to the Mesa Police Department, Scott Purdie, 67, was riding east on McDowell Road, when Taylor, who was also going east, hit him. Purdie died at the scene.
"He was extremely funny. He was the one who everyone always went to for his humor, he was very witty," said his daughter, Jennifer Purdie. "He loved the church. We were members of the LDS church and both of my parents were getting ready to serve a mission next year and they put in their papers and they were supposed to get their call up in 3 weeks. Today it got cancelled."
Jennifer said her father was an avid cyclist and never left the house without the proper equipment.
"He always wore all reflective gear, bright yellow shirts, had on all kinds of headlights. I would get so nervous about every time he would go out biking and he would say, 'don't worry I'm lit up like a Christmas tree,'" Jennifer said. "This is a case of bad timing. If he had left 2 minutes later or 2 minutes earlier, or just decided not to go biking that one day."
Purdie's family said he was on his way to rent a car, and chose to bike because he didn't want to make someone else drive him.
"He was the rock of everyone's family. If someone needed to be baptized, he would step in, if someone didn't have a dad and they needed a dad, he would step in. If someone needed a wedding dad, he would step in," Jennifer said. "It's such a loss. It's such a loss to this world and I feel like we all need to be a little bit funnier, we all need to be a little bit kinder, because we just lost one of--my favorite person--I've ever met in my life."
Police said Taylor stopped and stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers.
Because Taylor "showed numerous signs of impairment," according to Mesa PD, officers on the scene requested a drug recognition expert.
Police say Taylor not only admitted using heroin and methadone, but he also reportedly admitted using meth earlier in the week.
"All I want to know is, why would you want to take the greatest man I will ever know off this earth? He was the greatest man and human, that's what I always said."
Mesa PD said Taylor had heroin and drug paraphernalia on him when he was arrested.
He was booked on suspicion of manslaughter, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
It's not clear if he has a criminal record.
New post on the crime blog. Impairment was a factor in fatal accident involving a bicyclist. Thorough investigation let to suspect being arrested. Read all about it at link below. https://t.co/NmvehNQaqo pic.twitter.com/eC862qdN8v— Mesa Police Dept. (@MesaPD) July 10, 2019