An avid cyclist from the Gray area was injured in a hit and run accident on Sunday and Jones County investigators are looking for the driver who left the bike rider bloody from head to toe.
According to witnesses, the cyclist was one of several friends who were out for a 90 mile bike ride on Sunday. They were riding on a stretch of highway that did not contain bike lanes, but they were riding single file and were not in the path of traffic.
The motorist hit one of the cyclists and failed to stop. Steve Parker of Gray was injured and will be in a wheelchair for at least six weeks with a broken pelvis.
The Governor of Georgia signed a new bill into law earlier this year that requires vehicles to provide at least three feet of clearance to bike riders. The three foot barrier provides enough room for even large trucks with protruding mirrors to get past a cyclist without hitting them. Witnesses say the driver who hit Parker obviously did not yield the three feet of space.
“Many drivers are unaware that cyclists have every right to be on the road. As long as they are following traffic laws, are not riding on interstates or prohibited areas, and are staying out of the main traffic areas, they are within their rights to be on Georgia roads,” says David Van Sant, an Alpharetta personal injury attorney.
Witnesses say Parker was over to the right as far as the road would allow, but the driver obviously did nothing to move farther to the left. Authorities have a good description of the vehicle that hit Parker, and an arrest is expected to occur within the week.
Cyclists say they often choose rural routes for long weekend rides. Very few major roads in Georgia have bike paths. The problem with rural and secondary roads, however, is that many do not have a shoulder, which means cyclists have little room to stay off the main thoroughfare.
Van Sant says any victims of bike accidents should be working with an attorney right away. Because medical bills can add up, lost time injuries are common with bike accidents, and criminal charges could be filed against the driver, an attorney can manage all the details and complexities.
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