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Angier woman charged in Johnston County bicyclist crash

Posted February 25
Updated February 26

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— An Angier woman was charged Thursday after crashing into four bicyclists from behind on Saturday on Massengill Pond Road in Johnston County.

Donnie Marie Williams, 50, was charged with reckless driving to endanger, improper passing in a curve and four counts of improper passing resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Williams was given a $2,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court on March 21.

Christopher Graham, 34, Joel Arthur Lawrence, 57, Lynn Lashley, 57, and Michael Dayton, 60, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries after Williams crashed into them with her 1992 Crown Victoria. Investigators determined neither speed nor alcohol was a factor in the accident.

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  • Steven Reynolds Feb 26, 2016
    user avatar

    It's a sad event, to be sure. I live in Moore county and we have a good number of cyclists here and I am not surprised there hasn't been more accidents here. All of the cyclists I seem to encounter are rude, obnoxious and stupid. They seem to think that traffic laws don't apply to them. Ve

  • Ed McKim Feb 26, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    to plagiarize and paraphrase another article: your estimate of the number of rude cyclists and the degree of their rudeness is skewed by what behavioral economists like Daniel Kahneman call the affect heuristic, which is a fancy way of saying that people make judgments by consulting their emotions instead of logic...

    ...The affect heuristic helps explain why birthers still exist even though Obama released his birth certificate—it’s a powerful, negative emotional issue about which lots of people have already made up their minds. When it comes to cyclists, once some clown on two wheels almost kills himself with your car, you furiously decide that bicyclists are rude, and that conclusion will be hard to shake regardless of countervailing facts, stats, or arguments.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/cyclists_are_annoying_why_you_think_they_re_a_menace_on_two_wheels_.html

  • Jerry Phelps Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Here's another written by Mike Dayton himself, one of the injured cyclists--the one still unconscious in the hospital. Please--stop the hateful rhetoric and remember that my friends were almost killed.

    http://www.bikelaw.com/2015/11/09/running-on-empty-the-gas-tax-argument/

  • Jerry Phelps Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Gas taxes DO NOT pay for roads

    http://www.frontiergroup.org/reports/fg/do-roads-pay-themselves

    This is one of many articles you can find with an easy Google search. The numbers may differ but the bottom line is that gasoline taxes do not pay the full price of of highways. Another spurious argument shot down.

  • Arthur Koch Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Walter, thank you for trying to see the issue from both sides. Like we both pointed out, patience and following the rules of the road from both the drivers and cyclists will help prevent most all of these incidents from happening. Both sides should be able to coexist safely on the roads.

  • Roy Hinkley Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Objectively #1 is irrelevant.

    A pedestrian who lives in Tampsa, but is walking in Phoenix hasn't paid into that sidewalk but they are still legally allowed to use it....therefore not paying into something you're allowed to use is irrelevant.

  • Arthur Koch Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Walter, I can only assume that the reason there isn't a "Cycling Tax" is because it's really not necessary. I pay sales taxes on everything I buy related to my cycling, including the bikes, gear, etc. I also pay property taxes and the taxes on my gas. The small cost impact that cyclists have on the roads should easily be covered already in all the other ways I already pay my taxes.

    I would also assume that the amount of money spent on the roads due to biking must be minimal, as the only state in the entire US with a tax is Hawaii. The tax is a one-time fee, and goes right into bicycle infrastructure, not into a general roads fund. Even the Netherlands doesn't have a tax on bikes, where the percentage of cyclists is much higher than in the US. I don't see bike taxes coming about anytime soon, and if the impact bikes have on the road were an issue, there already would have been bike taxes long ago...

  • Walter Honeycutt Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    I guess the view from this side of the debate is this:

    If you are going to cycle -- fine cycle. But realize the cycle is the "visitor" in a big pond. While we are not intentionally trying to run you off the road, simply step aside and help us get past you more easily instead of trying to prove your point (right) by staying in the middle of the road. (that is just in general, not saying these 4 did that.....)

  • Walter Honeycutt Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Arthur,
    Unless you pay a "Cycling Tax" (registration, fuel, tags, inspections, etc..) no - you the "cyclist" haven't paid into the road system. Objectively separate the apples and oranges.

    I do agree with your closing statement. Impatience is plentiful on both sides of this discussion. The downside, the roads -- even with the new bike lanes on some -- simply are not wide enough to honestly accommodate safe passing in the country. That is simply the reality. They were constructed to facilitate the standard width of a vehicle.

    It is extremely frustrating to come up on a cyclist -- and the majority I encounter do this -- they refuse to move from the middle of the lane. I apologize for clogging their bike path, but ---- I do need to get down the road.

  • Arthur Koch Feb 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Walter, if you encountered a cyclist just chilling in the middle of the road like that, then I apologize for the rest of the cyclists who understand how dangerous that would be, and how it makes all of us look bad. That being said, the actions of some bad cyclists in no way justifies taking all of them off the road.

    Also, there is no reason to side with the driver on this one. I looked on Google Maps in the street view of where they were hit, and it's not a 'blind' hill or curve like she wanted people to believe. There was no justification to rear-end them. She just decided she was going to pass them without making sure it was safe first, was going to fast, then rear-ended them when she couldn't use the other lane without running into another vehicle.

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