Justice May Finally be Served for Cyclist’s Death

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

More than 18 months after a hit and run driver killed a Schuylkill County cyclist, justice may finally be served.

John Anczarski, 19, of Ringtown died on a New Mexico highway in 2010.

Friends and family have wondered if anyone would ever be held accountable for his death.

Now, a man is facing charges in the case.

Anczarski and three other friends called themselves the pink pedals.

The group left Schuylkill County in May of 2010 to ride to California to raise money for breast cancer.

Steven Wasilewski rode with the group for the first few days.

“At first I thought it was an insane idea, and John kept telling me about it and said, if you just try and do something, you can do anything," said Wasilewski in June of 2010.

The peddlers were just days away from finishing when investigators said a driver in rural New Mexico crossed the center line, striking and killing Anczarski.

“He appeared to look down the road for five seconds in one direction, look to the other side for another 10 seconds while knowing the bikers were in front of his vehicle, and by the time he looked at the road again, he had struck one of the bikers,” said Laguna Pueblo Prosecutor, Dave Adams.

Police said the driver was Gilbert Waconda, a native of the Laguna Pueblo Indian reservation.

The pueblo and the crash site are on federal land, which is why the US Attorney`s Office in New Mexico first looked at the case.

To the dismay of Ancarski`s friends and family the feds chose not to charge the driver.

On Saturday, the Native American Police Force that has jurisdiction on the pueblo disagreed and charged Waconda with reckless driving and vehicular homicide.

“We haven`t stopped investigating this, we haven't stopped working on this, and something will happen with Mr. Waconda," said Laguna Pueblo Police Chief, Michelle Ray.

Those who know Anczarski may be pleased with the charges.

However, Pueblo officials warn that if Aconda is found guilty the sentence would be light.

By law, tribal governments can only prosecute crimes as misdemeanors.

Police said they could have a murder and only be able to prosecute it for one year under the Indian Civil Rights Act.

Investigators with the tribal government said Gilbert Waconda could be arraigned next week.