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Bicyclist Was Starting New Job Day of Fatal Crash

Paul Taylor's wife said he'd taken a position with a pharmaceutical company.

Paul Taylor was primed for a big day on Monday, April 30.

After decades as a physician's assistant, he was going to start a new job in the medical affairs department of a Smyrna pharmaceutical company, said his wife, Barbara Taylor.

"He had been in a clinical environment a long time and I think he was ready for a change," she said.

Paul Taylor's life ended abruptly that morning. The 53-year-old youth soccer coach took a bike ride before dawn and was .

The wreck left the Taylor family reeling and shook the Decatur area biking community, many of whom reached out to Barbara Taylor.

"People came up to me at the funeral and said, 'I didn't know your husband but I'm a cyclist,' " she said.

A lot of people did know Paul. At 6-feet-4, he had an outgoing personality and good organizational skills. He was deeply involved in Oak Grove United Methodist Church and was known as "Boss Hog" because he supervised 600 volunteers for the annual barbecue.

He and Barbara had been married 16 years and and had four children: Ben Taylor and Rachel Taylor from Paul's first marriage and daughters Kelley Taylor and Grace Taylor.

Barbara Taylor said her husband became interested in biking and other endurance sports around age 50.

Though not a hardcore competitor, he finished several marathons and moved onto triathlons, completing the half Ironman in Augusta, S.C., last fall with a time of 6:04:14.

Paul worked out almost every morning, she said, rising about 4:30 a.m. and going to L.A. Fitness to swim, take a spin class or both.

"He was in impeccable shape," she said.

Though Paul normally didn't bike during the week, she thinks he went out for a "recreational ride" April 30 since he was not training for a particular event. He never commuted by bike to his job at Emory at the Grady campus, she said.

The collision happened in the left lane of four-lane North Decatur Road, at the spot where North Decatur intersects with Willivee Lane.

Barbara understands why Paul might have there, waiting to turn left. The couple used to live on Willivee and he knew how those roads connected to their home near Lakeside High, about three-and-a-half miles away.

Decatur police say a Ford Ranger pickup driven by Jorge Mercado-Perez, 57, of Snellville struck Taylor about 6:20 a.m.

Mercado-Perez, according to the accident report, said "the bicyclist He could not be reached for comment.

Barbara Taylor said she's withholding comment on the specifics of the investigation for now.

No charges have been filed, but police say they're not through investigating. Taylor didn't suffer any sort of stroke or heart attack.

While the family waits, life has moved on. On May 5, Paul's daughter, Rachel, graduated from Berry College. Paul's 54th birthday passed on May 20. The church planned for the annual barbecue in October.

"We just keep going," Barbara Taylor said. "We will live by the Paul Taylor creed. He put a smile on his face and kept on living."

Other stories about Paul Taylor:

JayJay May 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM
35 mph zone with street light directly over the intersection. 6' 4".
Decatur Dave May 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Why is it that when I Google "Jorge Mercado Perez" I get immediate hits on mug shots for a man by that name in Snellville? Is this not worthy of investigating and reporting on?
JayJay May 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM
charges include: DUI & failure to maintain lane
Ralph Ellis May 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Hi DD and JJ, I know about those charges but didn't include it in the story because there's no indication alcohol was a factor in the April 30 wreck. Thanks for the comments!
Kayron May 30, 2012 at 02:15 PM
This is so tragic. My heart goes out to his family.
Jonathan Belcher June 01, 2012 at 05:20 PM
From what I have heard. Our community has lost a great man. I wish to offer my support and prayers to the friends and family. I'm very sorry for your loss.
Bob White June 01, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Took you long enough to realize that.
Jonathan Belcher June 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I again call you a spineless coward. I think I know who you are now. I will have a verbal confrontation with you, next time I see you. If your frequenting the pizza cafe in Avondale? Will see how strongly you speak when I can confront you man to man face to face. Were you one of Steve's supporters at the before mentioned simple assault trial? Come out of your shadows. I have always supported justice for this poor man. He and his family should know the truth. Our Government no longer is capable of protecting its citizens. We have lost the ability to act in the best interest of our naturally born citizens.

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