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Witnesses: Bikes went flying, driver didn't stop

Posted August 19, 2008
Updated August 28, 2008

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— The driver of a pickup truck that struck two bicyclists Monday night near Knightdale didn't stop after the wreck, witnesses said Tuesday.

The bicyclists were struck from behind as they rode along Rolesville Road near its intersection with Todd Road.

"I heard a loud crash, and I turned around and looked," said Stacie Rhodes, who lives nearby. "I heard another crash and (saw) a bike flying up in the air. I thought (the pickup driver) had lost debris out of his truck – apparently he hit somebody – and then he just kept going.

"He was going really fast. He didn't even stay around," Rhodes said.

No skid marks were on the road near the scene of the wreck, and other witnesses said they didn't see the pickup's brake lights come on before the bicyclists were hit.

"I saw him swerve off the road, regain his control, (and he) went right back to driving. (He) never even slowed down," said Tim Norris, who ran to help the injured bicyclists. "I heard the point of impact. Bicycle parts (were) everywhere. I never even saw a brake light."

The bicyclists, who were later identified as Andrea Amezcua and Justin Gailey, were transported to WakeMed for treatment. Amezcua was listed Tuesday evening in fair condition; Gailey was in good condition.

Jeffrey Lynn Price, 6708 Bethany Church Road in Wendell, was charged with driving while impaired, driving with a revoked license because of a prior DWI and failure to decrease speed to avoid a collision, authorities said.

Price was arrested at his home a short time after the wreck.

State Highway Patrol troopers haven't decided whether to charge him with hit-and-run as well.

"The number of accidents that I've seen in this calender year with bicycles and cars is way more than the last several years combined," said Kevin Coggins, owner of The Spin Cycle, a bicycling shop in Cary. "A lot of the roads that cyclists are riding on were designed 20 or 30 years ago and were never designed to accommodate the amount of traffic they carry and the bicycle traffic they carry."

Price was released from the Wake County Jail on custody release. His court date is set for Sept. 17.

63 Comments

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  • zanerx Aug 20, 2008

    "Lets look at the people who support and represent cyclists. The Durham Bike and Pedestrian Adversory Represenative shows up to professional review meetings in shorts, tee-shirts, and flip flops. Now these are no suit and tie meetings, but come on.
    enigma1469"

    You mean they might be beatniks ... or maybe even ... hippies? OMG - society is crumbling!!!

  • ALP Aug 20, 2008

    OK Mr. Leo - I'm NOT failing to understand the delay, like you implied, and in addition to thinking they should charge him w/ a more serious crime, I too think he should be charged w/ ALL he can be, inlcluding (but not limited to)hit & run. The more the better!
    And as for you implying how well I know the law, you don't know jack!
    Leo, in my original comment, I only asked you a question. I didn't attempt to, nor was I trying to degrade you or attack you personally in any way. BUT, (yes but)on the other hand, I guess that being an "arrogant bully" is something that all cops posses.

  • enigma1469 Aug 20, 2008

    Lets look at the people who support and represent cyclists. The Durham Bike and Pedestrian Adversory Represenative shows up to professional review meetings in shorts, tee-shirts, and flip flops. Now these are no suit and tie meetings, but come on.

  • leo-nc Aug 20, 2008

    ALP, if you knew the law the way you think you do, you wouldn't be asking silly questions.

  • leo-nc Aug 20, 2008

    "I don't have a law degree so I understand the legalities of making sure all of the elements fit the crime before charging, BUT".....

    EXACTLY. No "but"'s!!!

  • leo-nc Aug 20, 2008

    "THe SHP isn't sure whether to charge him with hit-and-run?! Why, yes- of course they should do so! I've been hit that way twice over the years, despite following all the laws, and the cops never want to write tickets against the auto drivers. It is pathetic. Now that is assuming the bicyclist wasn't like that idiot fellow I saw riding against traffic on Glenwood at Five Points during yesterday's rush hour. If I had the time I'd have called the cops on him for reckless driving and impeding traffic."

    You're failing to understand why this is delayed because you don't know what you're talking about. Would you rather have a more serious charge brought against him that is EASIER to prove then hit and run? If so, the shut up for a bit and wait. You might be surprised. Good lord! Arm chair quarterbacks, and know it alls.

  • Bradley07 Aug 20, 2008

    Leo-nc, my hats off to you & all law officers. You have a very difficult job and sometimes a thankless one.
    All drivers need to be better aware of others on the road.
    Granted this guy made a bad choice to get behind the wheel, besides locking DWI's up so they don't have access to do this. They won't stop, they will find a way to get in a vehicle.

  • batcave Aug 20, 2008

    bs101fly , they were on a back road, the guy was drunk, can't you read, you don't understand traffic laws either.

  • norskagent Aug 20, 2008

    2 law abiding cyclists get taken out by a drunk, and some of you still manage to imply (partial) blame on the cyclists...amazing. Just because you are inconvenienced by the occasional cyclists you demand they all ride on back streets and sidewalks. Why not learn to drive your car responsibly instead?

  • ALP Aug 20, 2008

    Let me first say that my prayers are with the 2 innocent riders
    that got ran over by this habitual DWI driver AND registered sex offender. He's a real winner who should be locked up for about 5 years. Jail overcrowded? They need to make "tent camp" jails for these habitual DWI drivers and let them "just exist" doing nothing but tending to a state-owned garden that feeds it's needy people.
    So Leo, if to be charged with hit & run one must have known or should've reasonably known that he was involved in a collision - doesn't that give drunk or impaired drivers free range to run people over and leave the scene? With that, any drunk could say, "I was too drunk to realize what I had done".
    I have a law degree so I understand the legalities of making sure all of the elements fit the crime before charging, BUT isn't it pretty obvious that he assaulted them with a deadly weapon too? Just b/c he might not have realized he was in a collision, he gets off of that charge. Crazy

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