Local News

Witnesses: Bikes went flying, driver didn't stop

Posted August 19, 2008 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated August 28, 2008 11:53 a.m. EDT

— 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.