Bicyclist killed on Peach Orchard Road early Friday

Friday, May 24, 2013 4:59 AM
Last updated Saturday, May 25, 2013 1:49 AM
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Police say a 33-year-old bicyclist killed Friday after being hit from behind did not have safety equipment on his bike.

According to investigating deputies, the bicycle ridden by Robert Daniel Holden Jr., of Hephzibah, did not have lights and had only a 1-inch reflector on the back. The reflector was damaged in the collision, and it could not be determined whether it was visible.

There was an orange safety vest wrapped around the top tube of the bike’s frame, but it would not have been visible to traffic behind Holden.

Police said Holden was pedaling in the middle of the southbound right lane in the 3500 block of Peach Orchard Road at 12:55 a.m. when he was hit by a 1999 Oldmobile driven by Edward Farrow, 49, of Hephzibah.

The collision threw Holden from the bike and into the southbound center lane. Deputy Coroner Kenneth Booze said Holden was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force trauma about 1:30 a.m.

Farrow told police he did not see Holden until it was too late. Other drivers said they did not see the cyclist until the crash.

The report said the lack of lights and appropriate reflective gear greatly contributed to the collision.

Holden was determined to be at fault.

This is the second cyclist fatality in Richmond County in fewer than two weeks.

Cyclist Dennis John Skillman, 42, of Old Waynesboro Road, was fatally hit on Mike Padgett Highway while going to work May 15. Police said Christopher Provost, 35, of Hephzibah, left the scene, but he has since been charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police said Provost veered off the road, hitting the cyclist.

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palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 05/24/13 - 05:30 am
8
0
Gosh, I'm so sorry to see
Unpublished

Gosh, I'm so sorry to see this in the headlines again. It seems to happen much too often.

paperhearts
99
Points
paperhearts 05/24/13 - 06:30 am
7
10
Bike lanes

The city needs to get serious about bike lanes because it doesn't seem the citizens care enough to share the road, which is the law, instead they are mowing over cyclists right and left. Regardless whether you like share the road laws, people's lives are more important than you getting to McDonalds in a hurry. I am so sad to hear this story once again, how many times before we do something about this.

nocnoc
38533
Points
nocnoc 05/24/13 - 06:58 am
8
5
Bike Lanes are not just the only answer

Sad to see this happen again on the South Side

But Face 1:30AM so I have to ask lights flashers etc... Because although it would be nice, The Taxpayers can't afford bike lanes for every major hwy and roadway in ARC, which might get used by maybe 2 or 3 few bikes a day.

We already have traffic Lane Size issues and those already play a major role in too many accidents now.

When I am in a SUV looking out my window thinking if that guy coming at me moved 6" to his left we'd both be dead from a head on, I have to wonder how much attention I am giving the guy on a bike hugging the right edge.

No I would have to say Bikes should be restricted to certain speed roads and streets.

Heck a semi-with trailer doing 50mph can literally blow a bike ride off the roadway.

On the political side I expect to hear some Downtown person clamoring for BUSES, WE NEED BUSES ON THE SOUTH SIDE. All to so they can move the Projects out here.

paperhearts
99
Points
paperhearts 05/24/13 - 06:57 am
4
15
Cyclists

Cyclists gave as much right to the road as vehicles, they are designated by law in all 50 states as a vehicle so unless you are going to be able to change national standards then I suggest bike lanes.

my.voice
4654
Points
my.voice 05/24/13 - 07:14 am
10
3
Bike lanes on Peach Orchard

Bike lanes on Peach Orchard Road? And where, pray tell do you plan to fit those in at? Not practical at all. And we don't know the details of this tragedy. So if he was crossing the road, etc, a bike lane wouldn't have helped one bit.

nocnoc
38533
Points
nocnoc 05/24/13 - 07:42 am
12
2
Comment based on Friday, May

Comment based on Friday, May 24, 2013 4:59 AM
Last updated @ 5:02 AM.

This was a terrible thing that has happen early this morning.
I feel bad for the family and there are so many reasons why it should not of happened and could have been avoided.

But lets be sensible here,
a 150+lb person on a 25-40lbs bike, aerodynamically a bike is NOT match for the wind forces generated by a 6000 Lbs vehicle or a 28,000 lbs semi-trailer hauling. Heck my SUV gets blown around when a Semi-trailer passes me, imagine what it does to a cyclist. So a car passing a cyclist on narrowed lane, ratio wise is about the same.

Yes bicycles have basic roadway rights,
which also means they need to apply some required safety logic. With rights come responsibilities.

I personally would like to see some Bike lanes strips paved in certain areas. Since bikes are considered lawful vehicles in GA. maybe requiring all bikes using Public streets to have a $10 to $50 a year tag would help pay for the bike lanes?

The other thing is maybe some type of "Operation Cyclist". A RCSO operation that does safety checks for lights, reflective vests or reflective stripping, helmets, and enforce meeting certain laws of the road like driving with the flow of traffic, lights on after dark, LED flashers on the front and rear ....To Name a few.

When I was a kid, we rode everywhere. I occasionally rode from US25 from Byrd Rd. to Lumpkin rd to Eat-a-Plenty for a Ice Cream cone with I could earn the change. Or out to Bush Field to watch the planes. But traffic has grown exponentially to the point where many of the 1950-80's streets are poorly designed for today's traffic flow, speeds and levels congestion.

Drivers are is sensory overloaded, reading signs, determining which flashing lights mean something. In short there are 100's if not 1000's of distractions per roadway mile.

A person on a bike at 1:30AM in the morning is likely the last thing that driver expected to see.

nocnoc
38533
Points
nocnoc 05/24/13 - 07:50 am
7
1
Good examples of visual distractions

These new giant LED billboards that use Flashing AD's
It flashes and you are distracted to look up and not at the road.

US-25 Wells Fargo bank... how many turn lane accident since that sign went up?

Augusta Tech College LED sign...
Flashing blue background along a fast moving roadway?

What were they thinking

Wonder if any studies have been done about the number of Traffic accidents where these signs are with 100 feet of a turn lane or traffic light.

We know they are designed to get your attention why elese would businesses purchase the ad space?

nocnoc
38533
Points
nocnoc 05/24/13 - 08:11 am
5
1
my.voice - limited info in Staff reports

I already emailed the AC a few days ago about Staff news flashes.
The Staff Reports have so little facts we sometimes joke about them.

Other times we look like mean or stupid fools commenting on them because the facts change drastically over a few minutes to hours.

Which is why you may have noticed, I started adding in the published date & update time when I comment on any Staff Report now.

itsanotherday1
40239
Points
itsanotherday1 05/24/13 - 08:35 am
9
1
I am a bike advocate, and

I am a bike advocate, and hate to see news of any auto-bike mishaps. However, no matter the fact this person had a right to be where he was; it is suicide to ride at night on a highway, especially at 1:30 in the morning when a cyclist is the last thing a motorist expects to encounter. If I just absolutely had to ride due to no car or such, I would be flashing like a Christmas tree.

There is a fellow who rides around the Gibbs rd. neighborhoods at night, and he is very visible; using flashing lights front and back on the bike, on his reflective vest, and on his helmet.

justthefacts
20376
Points
justthefacts 05/24/13 - 08:39 am
3
0
Number killed

I believe that makes around 250 people killed in Ga.

lifelongresident
1317
Points
lifelongresident 05/24/13 - 08:40 am
0
0
was the bike rider riding
Unpublished

was the bike rider riding with, or against traffic?????

bigjim
9
Points
bigjim 05/24/13 - 08:47 am
7
9
Bike lanes

What is sad is that not only have we had deaths that could be avoided, we have a public that feels that their way is the only way. Augusta touts itself as a progressive community but nothing can be further from the truth. Most cities that are trully progressive have dealt with bicycles as a mode of transportation and made adjustments to the roadways. Augusta has placed dollars over life. We have lost several lives because of this. Has it occured to anyone that if we embraced bike lanes/paths that we may be able to help curve obesity, traffic accidents, and smog to name a few? I also believe that our community would benefit by attracting people who are looking for a area to move to because of amenities such as these. We already have triathlons, road races and the such but nothing to support our own community.

Cameron Poe
806
Points
Cameron Poe 05/24/13 - 09:00 am
9
0
All of Augusta needs a lesson

All of Augusta needs a lesson on share the road. Bikers and Drivers both included. I am a biker and have too many times seen drivers and bikers not obeying the rules. Drivers driving too fast and not paying attention. Buzzing the tower of bikers they feel have no right to the roadways. While, bikers and groups of bikers ride 3 and 4 abreast on roads that are way to narrow. Bikers failing to stop at stop signs and failing to allow room for cars to pass.

Share the road is exactly what the name says, A sharing of the road. The only way for it to work is if both bikers and drivers educate themselves on their local roads and rules of the road. Just adding bike lanes willy nilly all over town will only do so much. Everyone needs to collectively decide to uphold share the road before we can really put an end to these ridiculous deaths and injuries week in and week out.

dgaddis
16
Points
dgaddis 05/24/13 - 09:22 am
5
8
Hey Old Redneck & nocnoc

Redneck - Your comments on stories such as these show just how ignorant you are of what it's like to ride a bicycle on road with traffic. That's the problem with the internet - anyone with a keyboard can spread their opinions regardless of how little they are based in reality. Riding INTO traffic is idiotic and insanely dangerous. As is riding on the sidewalk. No one ever checks the sidewalk for fast moving traffic at intersections. The laws are written the way they are for a reason. Seperate bike paths (like the one on Knox Ave in North Augusta) are dangerous for the same reason - at every intersection you have to stop and check all different directions for incoming traffic, no one is checking the path to see if a cyclist is approaching. When you stop, you lose all momentum, so actually crossing the intersection takes much longer than if you were in the traffic lane and able to continue moving at 10-25mph.

Nocnoc - cyclist getting blown off the road by traffic isn't accurate. Your big SUV gets blown around because it has the aerodynamic profile of a house - it's big, and flat: lots of surface area for the wind to push on. A person on a bicycle presents a much smaller area for the air to push on. Do we get pushed around some? Sure. But you don't get blown off the road like an empty grocery bag.

harley_52
22125
Points
harley_52 05/24/13 - 09:22 am
8
3
It Is Legal....

....to ride a bicycle, with your back to the approaching danger, on busy streets and highways.

It is also legal to pour yourself a tall, cool glass of anti-freeze and drink it.

Legal.......but wise?

toldyaso
595
Points
toldyaso 05/24/13 - 09:43 am
2
1
I did not see any comments on

I did not see any comments on whether the cyclist had on reflective clothing or not, or lights on the bike. Not trying to place any blame, just curious. I've seen many bikers on the road who do not take personal responsibility for there selves. Just sayin'.
My prayers for the family of this man.

nocnoc
38533
Points
nocnoc 05/24/13 - 09:47 am
8
4
The Dollars over lives playbook quote

Every dollar is accounted for in the Taxpayer paid budget. (we hope)

Fred Russell is adding new taxes as quickly as he can but hook, (Trash) or crook (trash again) or praying to GOD for more rain to tax.

The overly used "Dollars over lives" quote is getting old.
So at the risk of sounding mean and heartless, let me paint the flip side of the idea.

Lets take money from the road repair budget to add bike lanes. Now we have Road problems that lead to accidents and deaths.

Lets take money from RCSO budget to add bike lanes, Now we have a crime problem and more deaths or injuries.

Lets take money from the RC Health dept. --- no need to explain how deadly that would be.

Lets take money from the "needy" getting government assistance - Bad idea.

So before anyone whips out the "Dollars over lives" quote
It boils down to either MORE TAXES, raping another budget, and lowering the safety net that that budget provides.

OR HOW ABOUT
maybe restricting bikes to 35 mph or less single lane streets and or requiring BIKE TAGS, with Safety Classes and annual safety inspections, so they can fund the bike paths, just like cars fund the roadways.

Of course DOWNTOWN could do without some new things and fund the SOUTH SIDE Bike path project. But we are talking using South Side Taxpayer $$$ for South Side things then.

Besides a physically separated BIKE PATH is the only safe answer. Not a Bike Lane with a 6" stripe between from a bike and 50mph traffic, too many cars float across the right white line all day long.

Again I'll, I am say sadden to hear another cyclists has been killed on the South Side but there is no quick or budgetary allowable fix at this time.

Maybe a new building code law on Street widths and a requirement for Bike Paths will one day find its way on to the books despite the developers raising cane over their costs for safety.

Comment based on Staff report Friday, May 24, 2013 4:59 AM
Last updated @ 5:02 AM.

Mr_Chin
47
Points
Mr_Chin 05/24/13 - 11:22 am
6
0
Definitely Risky

I prefer to play it safe and ride on the canal with the family. There's a guy that rides a 'laying down' bicycle contraption on William Few Pkwy that although looks cool....seems dangerously low to be riding on a street with many curves and vehicles travelling at high rates of speed...

burninater
8865
Points
burninater 05/24/13 - 12:32 pm
7
2
Inevitably after accidents

Inevitably after accidents like this, there are comments questioning the riding direction of bicycles relative to traffic.

There is a very rational reason for riding with traffic: relative speeds of convergence and time available to driver and cyclist to respond to one another.

As an example: if a bike is traveling at 15 mph, a car approaching from behind at 45 mph is approaching the cyclist at a relative speed of 30 mph. Reverse the riding direction, and the relative convergence speed is 60 mph. Riding with traffic in this case, which uses very common around-town rates for both bike and car, literally doubles both time and distance available to the driver and the cyclist to accommodate one another. Halving that response time and distance by riding against traffic is unwise and greatly increases accident risk.

Pedestrians walk against traffic because at an average walking pace of 3 mph, the convergence time difference is negligible.

In this accident, it was a moot point -- riding at night without exceptionally high visibility reduces that response time to virtually zero.

Bizkit
29212
Points
Bizkit 05/24/13 - 12:47 pm
3
4
We need harsh punishments for

We need harsh punishments for any accidents with bikes when the driver is at fault. Also need harsh fines for any accident involving a bike to make people take notice. It took that for people to "finally" start wearing their seat belts and put their kids in restraints.

harley_52
22125
Points
harley_52 05/24/13 - 12:48 pm
6
2
I Like To See The Approaching Danger...

...and have a chance to take evasive action in time.

Others, apparently prefer the surprise.

burninater
8865
Points
burninater 05/24/13 - 12:54 pm
6
2
Harley, you can very simply

Harley, you can very simply and inexpensively put a side view mirror on your handlebars or helmet, allowing both maximal response time AND sighting of approaching danger.

Operator response time is a leading factor in accidents. Doubling convergence rates by riding against traffic is an exceptionally dangerous practice.

Ride with traffic, use a mirror, and you have the best of both worlds.

countyman
19155
Points
countyman 05/24/13 - 01:17 pm
3
4
Progressive

Cities with thousands of more residents, and worse traffic have become bike friendly.. Why can't Augusta?

I've been saying for years that Augusta needs a major sidewalk/bike lane project.... Peach Orchard, Wrightsboro, Wheeler, Washington, Deans Bridge, Gordon Hwy, Walton Way, 15th, Broad, Reynolds, Mike Padgett, Windsor Spring, and maybe Tobacco rd/Jimmie Dyess...

The T-splost can pay for some changes, and the city must step up to the plate for the additional cost. Augusta is behind the times on bike lanes, and our public transportation system is even more.

I hope we don't let the vocal minority drown everybody out. Over 3,000 people use the public transportation system daily, and the number could easily increase to over 5,000 per day with expanded coverage, 24 hr system or until 2am-3am, increased routes, etc..

I don't know the number of people who bike/walk to work daily, but the number would also increase with new sidewalks/bike lanes...

harley_52
22125
Points
harley_52 05/24/13 - 02:09 pm
5
0
I Agree A Mirror Would Help....

....but I see very few in use. I don't have any particular axe to grind here. My son-in-law rides bikes all the time. My point is that it is NOT SAFE to ride a bicycle on busy streets and I think it's even less safe to do so while blind to the approaching danger. Yes, I'm aware it's legal, but that doesn't make it safe....or wise.

harley_52
22125
Points
harley_52 05/24/13 - 02:26 pm
3
1
"I don't know the number of people who bike/walk to work daily,.

.....but the number would also increase with new sidewalks/bike lanes..."

It's a cost/benefit thing. We SHOULD know the number. We should know the percentage. We should know the frequency. We should prioritize. We should make rational decisions for once, not jump on some bandwagon to suit the emotions of the moment.

seenitB4
81519
Points
seenitB4 05/24/13 - 03:38 pm
6
0
I'm with harley on this

Don't care what they say..I want to see what is coming toward me...

Darby
23604
Points
Darby 05/24/13 - 05:06 pm
3
0
When I go out at night to jog or walk,

I strap one or more flashing LED's to my arms. They are very intense and impossible to ignore, yet small enough not to distract drivers. Additionally, they are inexpensive.

Maybe they should be required for bikes. Would almost certainly save lives and serious injury.

OtherSideOfTheMoon
172
Points
OtherSideOfTheMoon 05/24/13 - 06:17 pm
4
0
The biker had a safety vest -

The biker had a safety vest - BUT HE WASN'T WEARING IT !!! It was wrapped around the top tube of the bike’s frame !!!

Fiat_Lux
14847
Points
Fiat_Lux 05/24/13 - 06:37 pm
2
1
Not bike lanes, but alternative routes

Bike lane won't make cyclists much safer than they are riding off the side of the rode. The only thing that makes any sense at all is to designate certain streets--secondary type routes--unavailable for motorized vehicle through traffic at certain times of the day or certain days of the week.

Doing that would have a huge impact for the safety of cyclists and, although it might be inconvenient for some drivers, it likely would not cost much at all to implement.

Riverman1
79462
Points
Riverman1 05/24/13 - 08:34 pm
5
0
Riding Against Traffic

When I was a kid I always rode against the traffic because I got OFF the road when a car was coming. Today I only ride my bike on the canal or on neighborhood streets. Is it legal for kids to ride on highways today?

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