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.

[WATCH: Daughter grieves father who was killed by driver in Mesa]

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.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(23) comments


So sad a good man was taken because someone was using drugs and decided to get behind the wheel. Sure the guy looks remorseful but it it could just be him feeling sorry for himself. The only thing he did right was stay at the scene.


[sad] Scott Purdie was a wonderful and kind man, this world lost a great person. I death with him in business but considered him a friend and I know his family will need comfort in this tragic time. God Speed good friend.


The look of shock and remorse is written all over that young man's face. When these things happen, news always interviews the victim's loved ones. There are other victims in this terrible event- the driver, his family and loved ones. This in no wise is to detract from the victim, a horrid and sudden end that was unexpected and a shocking blow to his family, but it is just so tragic all round. I pray for everyone in this. Terrible! This kid, looks like he's never been in trouble before and is reflecting on how he will survive in prison.


>>>NEVER underestimate the danger of passing traffic.


Two miles from my house, really wide bike lanes.....vehicle must have drifted.


I am so sad to hear that. I drove by shortly after it happened. McDowell is advertised by the city as a good road for cyclists because it has a large bike lane. I was wondering why the police weren't there yet & no sirens in the distance...Then One actually drove right by on Higley Rd and kept on going! What??


I'm sorry to hear about your friend Metal Building Mike, I was at the scene, your friend did his best to be safe, he wore a brightly colored safety vest and a helmet. That's a very wide bike lane there as well. I hope everyone gets answers soon.

Metal Building Mike

I know the man that died. He was neither homeless nor a drunk. If a phone was involved, I sincerely doubt it was his. He was a wonderful friend. He was a Primary teacher at Church and the children loved him. He was a true and faithful husband and father. He was probably my best friend. I'm sure he was riding to stay healthy. His bicycling probably contributed greatly to his good health and his recovery from a heart attack over twenty years ago. This is such a tragedy. Please be kind to the memory of my friend.


Condolences to you and his family. I had a cousin hit and killed by an impaired driver while he was on training run with his bike club prior to a competition. People on here comment before details are even released to the public just to spew their hate and racism.


99% of the problem is that the media (azfamily) does not print details, all they care about is headline shock to attract readers.


99% of the problem is people like Bewill that make unfounded 'guesses' with zero details being released of the incidents. Nothing wrong with expressing an opinion ONCE the facts are published, prior to that, it is disrespectful at best, to chastise or admonish someone.


Whoever was in wrong will go free, ask the so called Police.[ohmy]


Its probably a homeless or DUI loser riding home from work... Why else would you ride a bike in 105 degrees... I hope the car isn't to damaged..


Um. I live near there.. And my grandson rides his bike to work every single day !! So sorry for this Man's family


And my grandson is not a homeless person or loser!!


Pathetic ASSumption on your part. So people can't go outside because it's only 105 out, that isn't that hot, you're not from Phx are you?


What kind of stupid response is this? I was out 2 times yesterday for a total of 70 miles in 105 degrees. Im neither homeless nor a drunk. Your concern for a vehicle over the cost of a life is unbelievable! May Karma camp at your doorstep you pathetic looser!


Haters are going to hate, it's that simple. Maybe if the guy could pry himself away from the keyboard and get a hobby/life, he'd find some happiness.


Bewill, you have literally no idea of what you speak. Neither of those descriptors apply to beloved uncle. Additionally, just because someone is homeless or has had a DUI, it does not mean they're a "loser" who deserves to be hit on their way home from work. Stop being a troll and go better yourself.


Bewill, this world would have been a better place had that been you. Make yourself known and I'll be more than willing to damage my car or fist as I slam it into your face. Not sure why I even gave you the time of day but if your post is serious, let me know the time and place so we can "chat". Punkass


Even with a marked bike lane, too early to tell, but I smell a phone.




Never stated what color the phone is.

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