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Solicitor Won't Prosecute Decatur Bike Fatal

DeKalb Solicitor Sherry Boston says there's no evidence to file charges against the pickup driver who struck and killed bicyclist Paul Taylor, 53, on North Decatur Road.

Sherry Boston will not file charges on North Decatur Road.

In a statement released about 5:45 p.m, Boston said.

While our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the bicyclist who died in this accident, we have determined at this time, there is no evidence to file any criminal charges against the driver of the vehicle.

 Decatur Police conducted a comprehensive investigation that was reviewed by investigators at both our office and the Georgia State Patrol.

 All three agencies came to the same conclusion -- that there was no evidence to form the basis of a criminal charge, and no witnesses have come forward to supply any further information about what happened in this unfortunate accident.

Decatur police said Jorge Mercado-Perez, 58, of Snellville was driving a 2004 Ford Ranger truck that struck and killed Taylor, 53, on North Decatur Road, near the intersection with Willivee Drive.

Police said there were no witnesses to the 6:20 a.m. wreck. No charges were filed against Mercado-Perez,   An could not confirm or challenge his statement.

, told Patch in an email that she was "disappointed" by the decision but made no other comment.

The death upset the Atlanta biking community, which has complained motorists fail to show bicyclists proper respect on the road. Memorial rides have been held for Taylor and placed near the site of the wreck.

as a youth soccer coach "boss hog" of the annual barbecue at Oak Grove United Methodist Church.

He was a fitness buff who'd run marathons and competed in triathlons. Barbara Taylor thinks he got up early that morning for a training ride.

He'd worked decades as a physician's assistant for Emory. On the Monday he died, in the medical affairs department of a Smyrna pharmaceutical company, his wife said.

Patch telephoned Mercado-Perez's home in Snellville but the man who answered the telephone had trouble understanding English.

He had a run-in with Snellville police recently. About 9 p.m. Sept. 1, Mercado-Perez was charged with driving under the influence, failure to maintain lane, driving on the wrong side of the roadway and driving in the gore area -- all classified as misdemeanors.

He was released from the Gwinnett County Jail the next day. Police said he was driving a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Other stories about Paul Taylor:


Ralph Ellis September 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM
What do you think of the solicitor's decision?
Ms. September 16, 2012 at 01:31 AM
If the guy who hit Paul had several prior DUI's it's probable he had alcohol in his system/was impaired, and possibly was the cause of the accident. I'd be curious to know if any agency checked his blood alcohol level at the scene. It should be mandatory for all parties involved in fatal accidents already.
Ralph Ellis September 16, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Commenters, please follow the Patch code of conduct. Don't personally attack people.
Jonathan Belcher September 16, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I spoke to a good friend who works for GA. State patrol. He told me some shocking news. Fact, we have laws in place to check immigration status for people involved in vehicle collisions. Fact, officers are discouraged from following said law due to concerns of lawsuits against the department. Fact, thousands of illegal immigrants are driving in Ga. with a state issued drivers license. Fact, we do not and will not hear about Mr Perez's legal status from the state or the press, media covering this story. It's not politically correct. Fact, Mr. Perez is a habitual drunk driving offender. Could this tragedy be prevented from happening in the future? Do you feel like our justice system properly protects its citizens? It's sad to me that Mexico, a third world country, with much less resources, has better immigration laws on their books. That their officials enforce to protect its citizens. Than we have here in the U.S. I think its shameful and a sign of the times. I am deeply saddened for the family and friends of this great man. They deserve better.
Virginia Sowell September 17, 2012 at 02:30 PM
This SHOULD have nothing to do with anyone's nationality. Mr. Mercado-Perez continues to be arrested! http://www.whosarrested.com/georgia/gwinnett-county/lawrenceville/gcsd/1668725-mercado-perez-jorge WHY DIDN'T THEY CHECK HIS BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL at the time of the accident? A simple check on the police computer would have shown this man to be a habitual drunk driver. The irony is that the cyclist's blood alcohol levels were checked and shown to be clean.
Susie Adams September 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Very disappointing. It is my understanding that no agency performed an alcohol or drug test on Mr. Mercado-Perez after the accident because the police did not feel it was warranted. Shouldn't it have been standard operating procedure considering a life was lost and Mr. Mercado-Perez' prior driving record with 2 DUI's (with another one added 2 weeks ago)??? Paul's blood was tested by the medical examiner for drugs and alcohol and found to be clear of either. Again, very disappointing.
C. Walker September 17, 2012 at 08:01 PM
wow, how many DUI's can you have in Georgia and still have a driver's license and allowed to drive? apparently at least 3....
Daggerscar September 17, 2012 at 10:35 PM
I don't care if someone is kneeling in the road, Visibility from both directions is an easy quarter mile, ridiculous that no one is charged. Americans have such a love affair with cars, nothing (or no one) else matters. I can't believe that police chase stolen cars at high speed with all the risk to bystanders involved in that.
Biker September 18, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Don't kneel down in the middle of ANY road. Y'all need to stop the vitriol.
Jim Bobber September 18, 2012 at 08:29 PM
The premise that he would kneel in the road (instead of scrambling to get into the nearest yard) and then has the misfortune to be hit by a habitual drunk driver is absurd. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that there is any way to reconstruct or properly investigate such an accident.
Leigh Hopkins September 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Why would Paul Taylor have fallen riding UPHILL on the inside, eastbound lane of North Decatur Road, and then just sit there kneeling on one of the busiest roads in the area?!? As a P.A., I think he was probably smart enough NOT to do that. If Mr. Mercado-Perez was traveling eastbound on North Decatur Road (assuming his headlights were on), he would have had time to look from the bottom of the hill at Superior up to Willivee and should have had time to stop or swerve out of the way for Mr. Taylor, regardless if he was on his bike and trying to turn onto Willivee, or sitting in the middle of the road! I ride in the early mornings around Decatur quite frequently, and there aren't many people I know who use North Decatur Road except for a quick crossing, which it sounds like Mr. Taylor was doing. Why wouldn't the police have talked with any cyclists who rode with Mr. Taylor?? Believing the driver's story here is absolutely absurd. I want to see Mr. Mercado-Perez's blood alcohol level at the time of the accident. Shouldn't that be standard procedure, particularly in a fatality case? If this wasn't tested, I hope the Taylor family brings a civil suit against Mercado-Perez. And why was this case being handled as a misdemeanor in the first place?! Another cyclist/father/husband/son/friend dead, due to the careless actions of another. Praying for the family, RIP.
Judy September 20, 2012 at 04:34 PM
And its not the fault of the police it is the problem that the prosecuters, defense and judges do not follow through on in the court system. It doesn't matter if its alchohol,drugs, or marijuana they are all the same. Can the police check for all of that from their car. NO! Many are driving with drugs too. Bicycle people too!

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