Car strikes, kills Athens man in wheelchair

 

ATHENS, Ga. -- A 73-year-old Athens man was fatally struck by a car Monday night while crossing Lexington Road in an electric wheelchair.

Athens-Clarke police said the collision happened at about 9:10 p.m. just a few blocks from the disabled man’s home.

Roger Griffith was killed instantly when an eastbound car driven by a 66-year-old Athens man hit him, according to police.

Police initially determined the motorist not at fault, but the investigation might continue for several months as investigators await test results from blood drawn from the victim and driver.

“There are some indications (Griffith) may have been drinking” prior to being struck and killed, said Lt. Don Eckert, commander of the Athens-Clarke police Traffic Unit.

The area where the collision occurred is not well lit, according to police, and the wheelchair was not equipped with lights or reflectors.

Griffith was not confined to a wheelchair, police said, but an injury he suffered some 20 years ago made it difficult for him to walk, especially long distances.

His wife told investigators she had no idea where her husband was headed at the time of the collision, but he frequently rode his motorized wheelchair to visit others and to run errands, according to police. He also often rode it to a bus stop on Lexington Road, according to police.

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