Originally created 02/20/01

Driver injures bike-riding teen



AIKEN - A 14-year-old Aiken boy was critically injured Monday afternoon when he was struck by a car while trying to cross Whiskey Road on his bicycle.

Carson Abele, of Heathwood Drive, suffered a head injury and was being treated at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition Monday evening.

The boy was riding a dirt bike across Whiskey Road about 3 p.m. when an Isuzu car driven by 19-year-old Hollis Noland allegedly ran a red light at the intersection with Brookhaven Drive and struck the boy, said Lt. Leroy Taylor with the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The impact threw Carson and the bike into the air, causing the teen to flip and land on the car's windshield, witness Deborah Carpenter said. She said her vehicle was southbound on Whiskey Road and had slowed down because of a yellow light. Mr. Noland's vehicle, which was northbound, did not slow down, Ms. Carpenter said.

"He looked like he was trying to beat the yellow light," she said.

Mr. Noland and his fiance, who officials did not identify, were not injured in the wreck but were visibly shaken. A highway patrolman charged Mr. Noland with disregarding a red light, Lt. Taylor said.

Witnesses said the boy was stopped on the shoulder of the road waiting for the light to change. When his light turned green, he put his feet on the pedals and rode into the intersection, they said . He was not wearing a helmet, Lt. Taylor said.

Traffic along the four-lane highway was slowed for a few hours while officers investigated the wreck. The accident was one of many neighbors have witnessed recently; the intersection is near an entrance to the Target shopping center.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 648-1395.