Fatal Carolina bicycle accident leads to homicide charge

Reckless homicide charges have been filed in the wake of a horrific Carolina bicycle accident that killed a doctor and injured four other cyclists in October. As we reported recently on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, a series of bicycle v. car crashes in the Carolinas has authorities discussing ways to reduce the risk as summer approaches.

Our North Carolina personal injury lawyers understand the serious and fatal injuries too often suffered by cyclists who are struck by careless motorists. Drivers need to remember that cyclists have the same rights to the road as the driver of a passenger vehicle. Failure to respect those rights can have dire consequences for both the rider and the at-fault driver.
Carolina Cycling News reports the rider in this case struck five cyclists on Beech Island Avenue while driving his SUV. He told investigators from the South Carolina Patrol that he was reaching for something in his car and did not see the riders.

He faces 10 years in prison and a mandatory driver’s license revocation if convicted. Among the victims was a U.S. Army Major and orthopedic surgeon who died Sunday at the age of 38.

“The charge of reckless homicide is a correct choice for this case, and the Palmetto Cycling Coalition is grateful for the work that the Department of Public Safety and Solicitor Strom Thurmond Jr. have done to ensure Dr. Burke’s family sees justice,” said Rachael Kefalos, PCC Executive Director. “It is a tragedy to lose someone so young and with so much potential to offer the world.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 32 riders were killed in North Carolina bicycle accidents in 2008. South Carolina accidents claimed 14 lives.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a Carolina bicycle or pedestrian accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving Greenville, Charlotte and Winston-Salem.

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