Decatur Cyclists Angry About How Fatality Handled

They say the lack of prosecution in the Paul Taylor death proves something's wrong in the way police handle bicycle incidents.

Cycling safety became Dave Mathews' passion after a bad bike wreck 18 months ago, and he grew more serious on the subject after a pickup struck and killed cyclist Paul Taylor.

Mathews became downright angry after authorities announced last week nobody will be prosecuted because they don't have evidence to make a case.

"We're human beings too," said Mathews, who started a Facebook page about bike safety in Atlanta. "We're not disposable creatures."

This kind of anger and frustration has spread through the Atlanta biking community, which has long complained about lack of respect on the road. As a commenter on a Patch story said,

Let me get this straight, if I run over a cyclist at 6:20am and the 4 lane road is otherwise empty of cars so that the bike could be avoided -- I still get to kill somebody for free? I may not be an experienced investigator of traffic fatalities — but it is clear that neither are the Decatur City Police. These other police agencies can "review" all they want — if the initial investigation (by Decatur) is incomplete or flawed, it is too late.

Decatur police said they simply didn't find evidence that would allow them to prosecute Jorge Mercado-Perez, 58, of Snellville, who was driving the Ford Ranger truck that struck Taylor. Two other police agencies reviewed their findings.

DeKalb County Solicitor Sherry Boston announced Friday she would not prosecute. If she had moved ahead, the case would have been a misdemeanor.

Taylor, 53, worked at Emory at Grady. The truck hit him about 6:20 a.m. April 30 on North Decatur Road, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"bicyclist-killed-on-n-decatur-rd"} -->, near the intersection with Willivee Drive. Mercado-Perez

GES September 22, 2012 at 04:46 PM
This was a case of a cyclist making the poor choice to ride on such a dangerous road. I live a block away from the crash site an will not even walk down that part of N Decatur Road. It is just a bad road and was a bad decision that day.
Scott Simpson September 23, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Americans were completely brainwashed by the auto industry long ago. What other 'product' alienates you from people, destroys the planet, destroys your health, causes wars (for oil)? Only the automobile.
Racer X September 23, 2012 at 03:22 PM
How do cars alienate you from people when several people can ride together? Some of the best times my daughter and I have are on long drives. You kind of sound like the "car hater" in that Speed Racer episode about the guy on the horse that hated cars. Luckily Speed straightened him out :-)
ardnamor September 24, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Here is a link to an interesting article about bicycles and motorists http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/09/cyclists_are_annoying_why_you_think_they_re_a_menace_on_two_wheels_.html
Judy October 25, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Great comment, just me. Thats exactly what lots of them do.; And they look at you with the deer in the headlights look...eventually thats what they will be is the deer!


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