Patrol: Bike crash charges might come later this week

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A spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol said charges might be filed by the end of week against a driver that collided with five cyclists in Aiken County on Friday evening.

Lance Cpl. Joseph Robinson of South Carolina Highway Patrol said the driver of the vehicle involved, Daniel Johnson, was northbound on Beech Island Avenue approximately 12 miles south of North Augusta, when he came up on the five cyclists, who also were northbound on Beech Island Avenue.

Inattentive and unaware of the cyclists' presence, Johnson's Dodge struck the group of them from behind, Robinson said.

Transported to Medical College of Georgia Hospital by ambulance in "very serious" condition, Robinson said, was Matthew Burke, 37, of Martinez.

Also injured in the wreck and transported by ambulance to area hospitals were the other cyclists: Laura Farmer, 47, of Augusta; Scott Moore, 39, of Augusta; Judith Speck, 42, of North Augusta, and Hugh Ray, 42, of Martinez.

All the cyclists were wearing helmets and reflective gear, Robinson said.

Johnson was not injured and alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to the highway patrol.

The incident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed yet, but charges might be filed by the end of the week, Robinson said.

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TK3
562
Points
TK3 10/03/10 - 04:27 pm
0
0
Sorry about those hurt but

Sorry about those hurt but there is no contest between spandex/plastic helmets and three tons of moving steel in a accident. If cyclists want to SHARE the road instead of hogging it for their exercise and sport they better pedal a whole-lot faster because until they can do the speed limit on two lane roads, or bike lanes are added (by taxing/licensing them), they IMPEDE traffic and are (without a doubt) a SAFETY hazard to drivers and themselves!

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 10/03/10 - 04:31 pm
0
0
I do hope all of the cyclist

I do hope all of the cyclist get better. However, bikes should be on bike paths not vehicle roadways. Just because it is legal to be on the road does not make it smart or right to do so.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 10/03/10 - 04:34 pm
0
0
For everyones safety I

For everyones safety I recommend drivers contact their State Representative to get a law passed banning cyclists off all non-subdivision, two lane roads having speed limits exceeding 15MPH.

momster59
0
Points
momster59 10/03/10 - 05:02 pm
0
0
Or maybe we could just be

Or maybe we could just be attentive and share the road like they do in other places? I pass bicyclists all the time and patiently wait until it's safe to pass them cautiously. Just sayin'...........

rootdog
0
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rootdog 10/03/10 - 05:21 pm
0
0
Augusta is so backwards when

Augusta is so backwards when it comes to this discussion. People hate cyclist and I do not understand why. What is the problem ? Get a life and slow down, its just a road with a little delay.

southman4b
0
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southman4b 10/03/10 - 05:33 pm
0
0
Really? A driver comes upon

Really? A driver comes upon a group of cyclists from the rear and there should be stronger laws against cycling on roadways? I suppose if a group of elementary school age children had been walking near the road edgeway and they had been struck by the same inattentive driver we would be discussing how lax the laws are regarding children on roadways. God bless America!

Med College guy 64
0
Points
Med College guy 64 10/03/10 - 05:45 pm
0
0
You know, I bike to and from

You know, I bike to and from work everyday. I take as many residential roads as I can. But I can testify to the downright venom I have experienced from drivers and I am seeing it here in the comments. I ride a mountain bike, don't where spandex, and don't "hog" the road. But to access certain parts of town, you HAVE to go on some major roads. TK3 and Asitisinaug, I cannot understand why you have such a poor attitude toward your fellow man. For someone biking 20 miles, a simple bike path isn't going to work. And for someone going to and from work- we have to share the road. TK3- You imply the 3 tons of steel is somehow more manly- but I would argue the opposite. Those of us on bikes don't have the luxury of hiding behind the metal. Slow your roll.

augusta citizen
9685
Points
augusta citizen 10/03/10 - 05:53 pm
0
0
It's a real dilemma and I can

It's a real dilemma and I can see both sides very clearly. I just read the names of the 5 victims above, one is an acquaintance and I am heartsick. I also feel sorry for the young man Matthew Burke (and his family), who is still hospitalized. I also know that there are curves in roads, hills, etc. and sometimes you can only see so far ahead when driving. I assume that all of the cyclists also have driver's licenses and drive vehicles in addition to cycling, so they know this as well and could find themselves on the driver's side too. We all know that sometimes vehicles have hit children, deer, pets, etc. in those circumstances where suddenly one of these is in their path. People always want to be able to brake in time to avoid these incidents, but can't always. I am very respectful at all times of bike riders, motorcyclists, golf cart drivers, etc., but please, we all need to exercise caution for what we do and where.

paulwheeler
124
Points
paulwheeler 10/03/10 - 05:57 pm
0
0
People need to become

People need to become accustomed to bicycles and electric vehicles on the road. As gasoline becomes more expensive and eventually unobtainable these types of transportation will become the norm.

dani
12
Points
dani 10/03/10 - 06:39 pm
0
0
Seems like the decent thing

Seems like the decent thing to do when you spot a cyclist in the road, is slow down. What is wrong with people. No concern for anyone but self.

TheArmyWife
0
Points
TheArmyWife 10/03/10 - 06:52 pm
0
0
Would the horrifyingly

Would the horrifyingly ignorant comments previously made be different if people knew Matthew Burke is Major Matthew Burke, an Army doctor who has served our country in Iraq? Bicycles are allowed on the roads, we all readily acknowledge that there is quite a lot of unsafe driving going on all around our nation. Please join me in praying for this great man and his family, may he somehow recover to continue caring for those who need him and his skills. One team, one fight.

rootdog
0
Points
rootdog 10/03/10 - 06:55 pm
0
0
you miss the point. Drivers

you miss the point. Drivers in Augusta do not get it. Some people want to stay in shape and enjoy the life, Sorry it has to slow motorist down. Go to bike friendly towns and you will see as many people on bikes as in cars practically. However, some cyclist do go over the edge. Ride single file and stay out of the middle. It is simple, share the road

PUPPYMOMMA
1353
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 10/03/10 - 06:59 pm
0
0
It hasn't been too long since

It hasn't been too long since we had this discussion/comments about bicyclists and sharing the road. I think everyone agreed that the spandex shorts should be against the law. Everyone did not agree about sharing the road. No need to call people that don't agree with you an idiot. Hope the injured man will recover quickly. I'm sure there will be a poster that can tell us all what the law says. Would you rather be right or alive? Kinda like a train and an auto. Who usually "wins"?

PUPPYMOMMA
1353
Points
PUPPYMOMMA 10/03/10 - 07:04 pm
0
0
No, the comments would not be

No, the comments would not be different if this wasn't Major Burke. The posters on here are equal opportunity offenders.

Fiat_Lux
15897
Points
Fiat_Lux 10/03/10 - 07:12 pm
0
0
I used to ride my bike to

I used to ride my bike to work when I lived in Savannah. It was fairly easy and safe because, north of DeRenne Avenue, all the streets run either north-south or east-west. There are lots of routes to choose from that have very little traffic.

Augusta is not a place I would ever try that. There is absolutely no way to do that safely, more's the pity. I'd love to be able to do it again. It would take something really major and devastating to get enough cars off the road to make it safe for bikes here.

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 10/03/10 - 07:20 pm
0
0
Bike riders and pedestrians

Bike riders and pedestrians alike are taking a chance when they enter some streets in Augusta. I walk to work partly to stay in shape and partly for economical reasons. I see the same bikers everyday on my route and the same pedestrians and all adhere to safety rules, yet almost 3 times a week I see someone almost get plastered when they have the right of way and yes sometimes that person is me. Augusta needs to realize that some of us would appreciate you refraining from your rude gestures and pay attention. If you need to know the rights of bikers or pedestrians you can go to the local DMV and get a manual.

nofrillls13
0
Points
nofrillls13 10/03/10 - 07:41 pm
0
0
Why do people from Augusta

Why do people from Augusta come to Beech Island to ride their bikes. We don't want you here. We never asked you to come. Most of you are rude and think that you own the road. You pay no taxes for use of your bikes on our roadways so you dont have any rights. Don't even tell me you pay taxes on your car because you pay for each car that uses the roads. so please if you want to ride a bike, please find a safe place in your own town or city and stay out of ours.

TK3
562
Points
TK3 10/03/10 - 08:20 pm
0
0
Dear Armywife; It matters not

Dear Armywife; It matters not WHO is involved or hurt in accidents as all life is precious! Dear rootdog; YOU don't get If you want to stay "in shape" I suggest a stationary bike at home or a gym but NOT do it in speeding traffic and how would you like me to do 15MPH in front of you on a two lane road with little chance of you safely passing while you are driving somewhere. If you still want to ride in traffic least try somewhere like downtown or in subdivisions where speed limits are under 35MPH or on bike paths like in Aiken... Dear paulwheeler; Lot of difference between an electric car and a bike as bikes can NOT keep up with traffic when speeds exceed 15-25MPH and are hard to see and offer no protection and impede traffic .... Dear Dani; The "the decent thing to do" is for bikes to NOT slow down traffic and thus impede and endanger traffic... Dear Med College guy 64 ; Yes I expect you don't really want to know what I think about how smart or manly it is for someone who rides a mountain bike, like you, on a highway in traffic... Dear southman4b: Yes, if "A driver comes upon a group of cyclists from the rear (and) there should be stronger laws against cycling on roadways?", because if they had been keeping up with traffic speeds the driver behind them would have much more time to see and respond to the situation and avoid an accident thus I suggest they should, for everyones SAFETY, NOT be permitted on highways where speeds EXCEED their normal capabilities.
Dear GiveMeTheScoop; Name calling will not solve anything except reflect on you. By and Flame on.

APiratesLife4Me
0
Points
APiratesLife4Me 10/03/10 - 08:29 pm
0
0
I assume this means they are

I assume this means they are considering charges for the cyclists right? I mean they admitted to ridng two abreast which is against SC state law.

mosovich
826
Points
mosovich 10/03/10 - 08:55 pm
0
0
Orlandu, obviously you have

Orlandu, obviously you have NO idea what the law is! What kinda person are you? You wouldn't mind killing a bunch of people just so you could get home maybe one minute earlier? What kind of people are you? Has society become this disgraceful? A man is in the hospital clinging to life and you say you'd like to kill more? Do you even know they recently passed laws to protect cyclist in SC from harassing drivers? Yes, it's like a minimum $1000 fine if you harass or threaten a cyclist.. The reason we ride in groups is so you nutty drivers won't run us down and see just how close you can get. BTW: I don't think I've ever seen a car going 35 on Beech Island Ave, it's usually much faster..

dwb619
96744
Points
dwb619 10/03/10 - 08:59 pm
0
0
Woodlawn Road in

Woodlawn Road in Edgefield/McCormick County is long overdue for a bad accident. Hills, and sharp curves, 45mph speed limit. It's not easy to slow an RV or boat trailer from 45
to 10mph in middle of curve , because 10 or 12 riders are 4 wide.
Some of the cyclists have made enemies of the locals, most of whom have lived on that road for more than 50 years.

TakeAstand
13
Points
TakeAstand 10/03/10 - 09:00 pm
0
0
I agree we should share the

I agree we should share the road with cyclists, but A lot of people do have resentment towards bicyclists, but its because of the few bad apples who think they own the road, dare you to hit them, and inconvenience everyone else. A lot of inconsiderate cyclists do not stay out of the road ( or stay to the side to share the road with cars), ride 3 wide doing 15 on a 45mph rd so you can't pass, swerve in front of you because they aren't paying attention etc..... But there are a ton of pedestrians and other motorists who do the same thing. I don't think its really so much people don't like cyclists, they are just tired of jerks period.

ke4pkb
7
Points
ke4pkb 10/03/10 - 09:04 pm
0
0
TK3, nofrills13, Orlandu,

TK3, nofrills13, Orlandu, Asitisinaug, the point has been made that it may be legal BUT should not be done. Do any of you named here talk or text on your cellphone while driving? "IF" you do YOU are much more of a danger to everybody on the road than we cyclists are! Highway Taxes not being paid in South Carolina??? How old (young) are you people? TK3 needs to write several thick books, he knows everything. By the way, I drove nearly 3 million SAFE miles in a 22 wheeler (double trailers) without 1 incident. I worked for 38.25 years. I have paid big taxes for 4 decades. I have never harmed anyone. I have been "rear-ended" 2 times, "t-boned" 3 times, (all these in personal vehicles). In 1985 was struck "head-on" by a car on my 22 pound bicycle, the guy turned left in front of me. I went over the hood, windshield, roof, back glass, trunk and then hit the ground. It was a "hit and run". I have been thru 25 years of back surgeries and 1 artificial disk in my neck. The point is NEVER did a single cyclist do any of this to me. It was cars, the drivers operating without insurance, registrations, tags, speeding, not paying attention, etc... Lighten up people. Lets be safe and watch out for one another.

savgirl
0
Points
savgirl 10/03/10 - 09:11 pm
0
0
I have to deal with this on

I have to deal with this on an almost daily basis. I don't have a problem with sharing the road with them , but so many of them are riding out in the lane and refuse to move over. Even when they see that another car is coming in the opposite lane and know that we have no were to go.
While we should respect them on the roadway , they should also respect us !

ke4pkb
7
Points
ke4pkb 10/03/10 - 09:13 pm
0
0
ooops! the network was acting

ooops! the network was acting up... I see it was successfully uploaded the first time.

curly123053
4900
Points
curly123053 10/03/10 - 09:18 pm
0
0
Just about every poster here

Just about every poster here seems to have overlooked one thing regarding this accident. It says the driver was inattentive and unaware and obviously never saw the bikes until he hit them. The terminology in SC "inattentive driver" has been used a lot by coroners in SC as well as law enforcement when an accident is caused by a driver who has been distracted while using a cell phone or texting. The "spineless" SC Legislature refused to pass a law against using a cell phone while driving last season, so the authorities are not allowed to use "caused by cell phone distraction" due to it not being a law in SC. Aiken County Coroner Catlton has used the term "inattentive" or "distracted" several times referring to accidents caused by cell phone use....This accident in Beech Island was not caused by someone who just drove up on a group of bicyclists...it was caused by a driver who was totally distracted from his driving duties for some reason or another. He never saw them till he hit them cause he was NOT looking at the road.

rbndawn
37
Points
rbndawn 10/03/10 - 09:21 pm
0
0
I do understand cyclist I

I do understand cyclist I like toride too but never put myself or others at risk, just can not trust my safety and my life to somebody else, atention, caution or ability to maneuver a motor vehicle. Just can't do it. I'm very sorry for what happen to them I see them all the time en Beech Island, I'll give you guys a"brake" really, all of you guys be careful and take care.

savgirl
0
Points
savgirl 10/03/10 - 09:35 pm
0
0
To ke4pkb, I for one do not

To ke4pkb, I for one do not take part in talking or texting on my cellphone while driving. I value my life and therefore find myself busy concentrating on the road as well as my surroundings around me . Not everyone in the world are consumed with there cellphones and texting.
Stop trying to lay the blame on the citizens that are trying to uphold the law .

corgimom
33953
Points
corgimom 10/03/10 - 09:37 pm
0
0
Most of the primary and

Most of the primary and secondary roads in the CSRA are no more than paved wagon trails. They were never designed for cars OR bicyclists OR pedestrians.

If everyone would keep that in mind, and conduct themselves accordingly, there wouldn't be near the traffic problems that there are today.

"Inattentive driving" covers a lot of things. It could be cell phone usage or texting. However, it could also be dropping something on the floor, turning your head to look at something, changing the radio station, unwrapping food, talking to a passenger, tending to a child- the list is endless.

I know someone who hit a car from behind- because he started sneezing and couldn't stop. When you sneeze, your eyes reflexively shut- and the car in front of him stopped. He didn't.

He was cited for inattentive driving.

Just don't assume things, ok?

corgimom
33953
Points
corgimom 10/03/10 - 09:43 pm
0
0
If you are a cyclist, and you

If you are a cyclist, and you choose to ride a bicycle on roads where the cars drive fast, you can expect major problems. A car driving 60 MPH is driving a mile per minute- the driver comes around a curve and there are a bunch of cyclists doing 15 MPH. Cyclists have to accept that danger- you can't overrule the laws of physics no matter what.

There is nothing about riding a bicycle that is worth getting hurt over.

Truck vs bicycle- truck wins. Every time.

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