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Memorial ride honors bicyclist killed by logging truck

Posted July 11, 2012

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— Dozens of friends, family and supporters turned out for a memorial bicycle ride Wednesday evening in honor of Steven Laverne Jordan, the head of the state agency who was killed in a Fourth of July collision with a logging truck.

Jordan was an avid bike rider and a member of a bike riding club in the Triangle.

The riders gathered in Northeast Raleigh for a two-mile ride to the scene where Jordan was hit by the truck while riding his bike. Friends said it was a route on Louisburg Road, near Perry Creek Road, that Jordan, 49, took hundreds of times.

Organizers said taking the same route was their way of raising awareness about safety on the roadways for both bicyclists and motorists.

Jordan, who headed the state Division of Mental Health's Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, was laid to rest last weekend.

"He prayed while he was riding. He planned while he was riding. He contemplated what was going on while he was riding," said Jordan's wife, Angela Jordan. "He truly enjoyed it."

Police said Jordan was killed when the empty logging truck hit him from behind. The truck driver, Clifton Paul Ellis Jr., 28, of 1715 Richardson Bass Road in Kenly, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.


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  • Alexia.1 Jul 13, 2012

    TechRescue, I'm so confused by your posting. If you drive a truck that heavy, you know quite well if a couple of mini-vans in front of you suddenly swerve into the left lane at 50mph leaving a cyclist sitting right in front of you going 20mph as you're hauling a boat or load of cattle down the highway, you are not going to be able to do much. You will not be very agile and if you cannot move over (as was the case with this truck driver), you're likely going to hit a cyclist.

    This is not a matter of who is right or wrong. You might have been paying attention to the road, but could not see the cyclist up ahead. This is an accident and the cyclist made a bad call getting on that highway.

    I sure wish there were not so many people so quick to ruin the lives of others over mistakes.

  • TechRescue Jul 13, 2012

    So., let me make sure I have this right.. If you're smaller and more vulnerable than I am, I have the right to kill you if you inconvenience me. That's basically what you're saying.

    With a 18,000-lb plate on a F350, I can almost guarantee I pay more to use the roads ($260/yr for license and a LOT more fuel taxes) than you do. By your logic, I have more rights. And since you're more vulnerable than I am (my truck is 8300 lbs, what's your weight?) you better get out of my way when I come through. You won't mind, right? After all, they're your rules.

    By law, bicycles have just as much right to the road as you do. If you hit a cyclist you should be charged with Assault /deadly weapon or negligent homicde, depending on the outcome. And if you hit me, go on and lawyer up - my wife has explicit instructions to use a large part of the insurance payoff to financially destroy anyone who does.

    Better idea - put down the doughnuts and get on a bike. It reduces the rage.

  • Alexia.1 Jul 12, 2012

    "You are supposed to slow down enough that your stopping distance is LESS than your sight distance. In this scenario I would be at fault for driving to fast around a curve. PLEASE LEARN TO DRIVE!" --godnessgracious2

    If one is driving at 55mph down the road and we assume a car can reduce speed at 15 feet per second and the driver needs a second to react, a car will cover an area of 346 ft. That's why speed limit on city streets is 35mph. Even that requires 139ft (given the same variables).

    Drivers often cannot see that far ahead, especially at night, around corners, etc. That's why accidents happen, but I don't call it poor driving to be driving the speed limit. Traffic engineers select speed limits giving consideration to required stopping distances.

  • shortcake53 Jul 12, 2012

    Never have I seen such holier-than-thou bike riders. Do none of them own a car? According to them ANYONE who drives a car is careless, reckless and has no business being on the road. Got news for you, LOTS of drivers have been driving 40 years or more with NO tickets or accidents. I am so tired of reading the self-rightous comments of cyclists who insist that its everyone elses job to care for them. If you decide to ride on a busy highway, YOU accept the risk. It was your decision to do so, no one forced you.

  • superman Jul 12, 2012

    To show their concern they should have been on 95 or 40. If you cant move with the posted speed you should not be on the road.

  • goncampn2 Jul 12, 2012

    My post was to long so I will repeat what I said. Drivers are not aware of cycling laws and cyclist vice versa. Both are arrogant as I have experienced. The state should put more emphasis on training for both so they know where each other stand. I have been fortunate to cycle in many states and North Carolina is second to Florida as being the worst place to cycle. So to cyclists and motorist..Please respect each other and learn the LAWS!!

  • godnessgracious2 Jul 12, 2012

    However, if I ever had a time where I could not move over, I would have hit them.

    And you would be charged accordingly. Don't follow so close to the car infront of you will never have this problem.

  • godnessgracious2 Jul 12, 2012

    It should not matter how busy a road is. If everybody is following the rules it will be safe for everybody. As long as bicyles are not expressly forbidded you should expect to see them on any road. Only because 75% of the motorists choose to disobey traffic laws (speeding, following to close) is why riding here is dangerous. Follow the rules and you won't have to go to court, and everybody can go home to thier families.

  • JohnnyMcRonny Jul 12, 2012

    "And there should be an endorsement added to their drivers license after a riding and safty test has been done by DMV." -pipcolt

    Um, big assumption you make there. Cyclists aren't required to have driver's licenses. They have a right to use the highway - it is not a privilege whether you like it or not. What about people under 17? Or those who cannot or choose not to drive. Should pedestrians have endorsements so that they can cross public highways?

    I agree that there needs to be some form of proficiency demonstrated. I did so when I was 10 years old.

    I'll also add that it comes down to the attitude of both drivers and cyclists. I grew up in a place where both had good awareness of the need for everyone to use the road equally and safely. Regretfully, here it is not like that. Too many arrogant drivers and cyclists that make our roads less safe for the rest of us.

  • Alexia.1 Jul 12, 2012

    Definitely a tragic event, but I do have to agree with those who feel the driver. From all appearances, he is the victim of unfortunate timing and a law enforcement and legal system in this state that seems to go out of its way to file charges against and punish everyone. The guy should not be charged. He was driving well below the speed limit and there appeared to be no way to avoid the collision.

    I've had close encounters, too, on roads that are 45mph. A few people I've seen even ride "bikes" where you basically lay down and peddle. They're not more than a foot off the ground, if that. Drive down the road at 45 and come around a corner and see one of those in the road sometimes. And, of course, there are times when I can't see too far ahead, just following the car in front. They move over and, viola, a biker is in my path. Fortunately, I've either been able to slow down and move over. However, if I ever had a time where I could not move over, I would have hit them.