Second pedestrian struck by SUV on bike path dies

Two pedestrians are dead after they were struck by an SUV that entered the new Interstate 74 Bridge bike path, pictured above. The incident happened just days after the ribbon cutting on the new path. CREDIT JENNIFER DEWITT

A second pedestrian, Anthony M. Castaneda, 18, of Moline, has died from injuries he suffered after being struck by an SUV on the Interstate 74 Bridge pedestrian and bike path, Moline Police said today, May 27.

The 2 a.m. Sunday, May 22, fatal collision had earlier claimed the life of Ethan Lee Gonzalez, 21, of Moline. Mr. Castaneda –  who suffered life-threatening injuries in the early Sunday morning incident – was pronounced dead on Thursday, May 26, by the Johnson County, Iowa, medical examiner, police said today. A third pedestrian, Charles Bowen, also was critically injured. 

According to Moline Police’s preliminary investigation, Ms. Harris was drunk when she allegedly drove her vehicle onto the Bettendorf side of the new I-74 bike path. She then traveled its length to about 200 yards from the Moline entrance where the SUV she was driving struck the three pedestrians, killing Mr. Gonzalez and seriously injuring Mr. Castaneda and Mr. Bowen.

According to a release from the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s office, Ms. Harris fled the scene and was arrested in East Moline after exiting her vehicle. Officers took her to a hospital on suspicion of driving under the influence. She was later booked into the Rock Island County Jail and faces multiple charges including:

  • Three counts of aggravated DUI – causing death or great bodily harm. 
  • Three counts of failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury.
  • Three counts of aggravated reckless driving.
  • One count of reckless homicide. 

Following Mr. Castaneda’s death, new charges were filed, including a second count of reckless homicide. She remains in Rock Island County Jail on $2 million bail, with a $200,000 bond. Her next court appearance had been set for Tuesday, June 7, prior to Mr. Castaneda’s death.

The fatality is the first to occur on the structure, and the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the cities of Bettendorf and Moline have since taken steps to increase safety on the 14-foot-wide span.

On Tuesday, May 24, IDOT began placing large concrete planters on the sidewalks and curbs leading to the path and installing signage and markings.

Other solutions may be implemented as more information about the accident becomes available “to determine the best ways to help prevent future incidents, while balancing the need for emergency and maintenance vehicles to quickly and safely access the path,” IDOT said in its statement.

The investigation also is ongoing and since the crash occurred near the Moline pedestrian entrance/exit ramp, the Moline Police Department’s Traffic Unit and Criminal Investigation Unit is taking the lead. Anyone with information about the accident, should call the Moline Police Department at (309) 797-0401.

Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.