Local News

NC mental health director killed in biking collision with logging truck

Posted July 4, 2012

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— The head of North Carolina's mental health services was killed Wednesday afternoon when a logging truck collided with the bicycle he was riding in north Raleigh.

Raleigh police said late Wednesday that Steven Laverne Jordan, 49, of Raleigh, died at the scene on Louisburg Road near Perry Creek Road.

Both Jordan and the truck, driven by Clifton Paul Ellis, 28, of Kenly, were traveling northbound when the wreck occurred around 2:15 p.m.

The case is still under investigation, and charges are pending, police said.

Jordan had been the director of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services since 2010.

According to its website, he also served as the state director of ResCare-North Carolina, where he managed programs for people with disabilities.

He was a graduate of Charleston Southern University, where he received his Bachelor's degree and the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Master's degree in educational counseling.

He began his career in human services in 1982 as a mental health worker in Charleston, S.C.

Police have not released any other details about what happened.

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  • marek335 Jul 11, 12:48 p.m.

    i have all but stopped riding my bike on public streets. Its too risky and dangerous anymore. i have one paved country road and my n'hood, i will ride due to the traffic is low and they usually don't try to kill you. I have seem impatient drivers almost run down dog walkers and baby strollers though. Its ashame you can't bike ride safetly in NC, biking is a great sport and exercise! US & NC are so backward in many ways.

  • Goz Jul 5, 2:56 p.m.

    Looking at the area with google maps, it sure looks like a pretty poor choice (as in dangerous) of a place to ride a bike. I believe that a six lane (plus multiple turning lanes) highway would be about the last place I would be bicycling on. Also looks like there is a sidewalk on the east side of Louisburg Road through much of the area.

    Not saying he didnt have a right to ride there, just that maybe a poor choice on his part contributed to the accident.

  • LogicRules Jul 5, 1:52 p.m.

    Thanks to WRAL for not posting my comment after I re-read the guidelines and was within the character limit. First, Sympathies to the family, it need not have happened at all. It is illegal to ride a bicycle anywhere on an interstate, period. 401/Louisburg, 70/Glenwood, 50/Creedmoor, US1/Capital, etc are all interstates. An interstate is any highway that connects to another state. Look it up. Stop riding on state highways and Interstates. Its the law and its not your right to put yourselves AND others at risk.

  • bombayrunner Jul 5, 1:34 p.m.

    Cyclists pay for the roads too. You hit one ... YOU WILL PAY BIG.

  • annaprivette Jul 5, 11:48 a.m.

    Cyclists who "take the lane" instead of staying to the very far right do so for safety.

    It is not a threat to cars but an essential move when there is not enough shoulder.

    It is better to have a car follow at 10 miles per hour for a few seconds until the adjacent lane is open to pass than to have a vehicle misjudge the distance he needs to move over to safely pass.

  • threewakecountyboys Jul 5, 11:42 a.m.

    Prayers to the driver and the family of the deceased; just a heartbreaking situation.

    That said, I do not understand why cyclists insist on riding on busy, 2 lane roads when they are moving so slowly that even the most careful of drivers, traveling at or below the speed limit, cannot possibly stop in time when coming around a curve. In addition, in locations near Falls, Jordan and Harris Lakes, folks are often towing a boat or an RV, making their stopping time even longer. I understand that legally, bikes have the right to be on the road. But that right will not supersede the law of physics. And no amount of legislation will change that fact.

  • Zorg Jul 5, 11:40 a.m.

    I cycle and I am a proponent of sharing the roads. Having said that, there are some roads I would never attempt to ride (Six Forks, Capital, and yes, 401). I avoid most other major roads because of the nasty car exhaust and I can usually navigate just about anywhere around Raleigh using the greenways and neighborhood streets.

  • RebelCat Jul 5, 11:40 a.m.

    Thank you "Legally Here" ... at least some people have some common sense about them. I guess "the realist" has never driven a big vehicle or pulled a boat and trailer so they have no idea what it's like and how long it takes to stop with a big load.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Jul 5, 11:38 a.m.

    "Well, Big gal, please explain why I constantly see bicyclists run stop signs, and stop lights." - hdinfo

    Umm, maybe the same reason you see motorists do the same.

    You know what? Many motorists also ride bikes and vice versa. It's not all-or-nothing. Geez.

  • bombayrunner Jul 5, 11:37 a.m.

    Be careful around cyclists ... they are friendly good folk using the road they too pay for to use.

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