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Four bicyclists in hospital after being struck by car in Angier

Posted February 20, 2016
Updated February 23, 2016

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— Johnston County officials said four bicyclists were struck Saturday in Angier around 2:45 p.m. by a woman driving a 1992 Crown Victoria at Massengill Pond Road and Sue Drive.

Officials said the victims were ejected from their bicycles and transported to WakeMed in Raleigh.

Christopher Graham, 34, Joel Arthur Lawrence, 57, Lynn Lashley, 57, and Michael Dayton, 60, were all involved in the accident.

Lashley was listed in serious condition and Dayton was in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, according to hospital officials.

Authorities said the Donnie Marie Williams, 50, was traveling north on Massengill Pond Road near Sue Drive when she approached and struck the bicyclists from the rear.

Williams' daughter, Tiffany McElveen, said her mother was driving up a hill and around a corner when she noticed the bicyclists, and another car in the opposite direction. According to McElveen, Williams attempted to avoid the oncoming vehicle and the bicyclists.

"She panicked; she didn't know what to do," McElveen said. "She didn't know whether to go over and hit the other car, or try to miss the bicyclists. She just had no idea what to do. She actually stopped in the middle of the road and pulled over to get out of the road, and then she ran back. When I got here she was over there in the ditch crying."

Jerry Phelps, a friend of the bicyclists, said the group left the Starbucks on Peace Street in Raleigh and planned to ride toward Godwin and turn back later in the day.

"I rode yesterday; had I not, I probably would have been riding with them today," Phelps said.

According to Phelps, he credits Dayton with inspiring him to begin cycling.

"It was my first 200 kilometer event. It was the furthest I've ever ridden my bike and he stayed with me," Phelps said. "Although he was much stronger and could've left me, he stayed and talked with me for the last 30 miles."

Williams was not injured in the accident, and alcohol does not appear to be a factor, officials said.

Phelps said he's hopeful the group will join him for a ride soon.

"[They are] just four of the best people I've ever known, and four of the best cyclists I've ever known, too," he said.

Authorities said charges are pending. No further information has been released.


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  • Jerry Phelps Feb 23, 2016
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    So now that WNCN has reported that Williams is on probation for 5 felony drug offices, does anyone want to blame the victims?

  • Wendy Rayfield Feb 22, 2016
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    Drivers should respect themselves and their passengers enough even to drive reasonably enough that if any object is in the road, presently out of their sight, they will be able to deal with it and not wreck or damage own car or injure anyone else. Speed limit is for ideal conditions only.

  • Wendy Rayfield Feb 22, 2016
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    Someone commented "When are these people going to learn not to ride the roads on a bicycle? It is a deathwish." I'm really hoping that is written as a sign of empathy and concern, not a lack of it or understanding, as though for safety's sake biking might seem like a deathwish sometimes it truly is the opposite, an ardent desire for health and enjoying life fully, while keeping planet healthier for all as well. And bikes have a right to be out there, but they do need more safety.
    As to how fast you can legally take a curve, you are required to drive according to conditions, so legally you are required to reduce speed during rain and for curves. It is called reckless driving to round a curve at the same speed you took straight of way. They can not put up signs every foot of the road. The main rule remains to not drive faster than you can see in order to stop - no riding bumpers or not expecting there to be a dog, person, car, or bike around a corner or over a hill. Be safe all! :(

  • John Snow Feb 22, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Yeah, his law needs to be revised. It is inherently dangerous to have a bike on a road that can't do anywhere near the speed limit.

    There should be a reasonable review to allow bikes on roads that would be safer; ones that are wide enough would be a start. I, like most people have come around a bend on a curvy narrow road, doing the speed limit and been faced with one or more bikes and cars in the other lane and had to jam on the brakes. This situation is very dangerous and avoidable.

  • Marty Baker Feb 21, 2016
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    So apparently you've had to go to court multiple times because of incidents while you were biking on the road. And you sound so proud that you win every one. Good for you. You absolutely have the right the ride on the roads. But if you're having all of these incidents, doesn't common sense ever kick in and say maybe, just MAYBE you should ride somewhere else? Of course it doesn't. You want to be able to say "I'm right!". You'll probably say that right up until the end, when you finally LOSE one of those incidents. Good luck to you, and to all the cyclists that insist on riding on roads during morning rush hour traffic. You'll need it. Good night to all!

  • John White Feb 21, 2016
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    From the drivers manual, page 81:

    Bicyclists usually ride on the right side of the lane, but are entitled to use the
    full lane.
    so drivers just back off. A cyclist is allowed to take the full lane. That is for the safety of the cyclist to prevent being hit while attempting to pass he cyclist when there is no room.

    So just stop complaining about bicycles. It is the law and yes I have been to court and every single driver has lost against me in court. They have all been found guilty of improper passing, Reckless driving. You will loose in a NC State Court Room. The judges will side with the cyclist not the driver.

  • Marty Baker Feb 21, 2016
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    I won't waste anymore time trying to convince the cycling mafia that maybe their safety and the safety of others should come first. I will pray for the latest cyclists that were injured, and I'll pray for the ones that choose to clog the roads in the future as well. I don't want anyone, cyclists or drivers, to ever be hurt because of people's desire to be able to proclaim that they can ride on any road they want. Have at it, I wish you luck.

  • Marty Baker Feb 21, 2016
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    If it's a clear, dry day, and you're driving the speed limit, you are most certainly NOT driving too fast. You must not have ever driven the hilly, curvy backroads of Wake County. If everyone slowed down to 15 mph every time they came to a hill, there would be hundreds of rear end collisions. Just another "We're always right and you're always wrong" talking point of the cycling mafia. Just an fyi, I also ride a bike, I just value my safety enough to stay on the trails. I will never change the minds of the cycling mafia, and you'll never change mine, because I know both sides of it and I use common sense.

  • Fred Holt Feb 21, 2016
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    It's also not against the law for any vehicle to go below the posted speed limit, unless on a limited access road, with a posted minimum speed. So much fail in these comments...

  • Fred Holt Feb 21, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Marty if you cannot see as far as your stopping distance, you are driving too fast. In almost NO case on any NC highway is that the case - assuming you're actually looking at the road. If you only glance at where you're going now and again - then yes, you may be surprised. That's called negligence - and it's time to start prosecuting it and not calling it an "accident".