Urban Velo

Driver Charged in Death of Dr. Matthew Burke

According to a press release issued by the Palmetto Cycling Coalition:

Daniel Johnson was charged with reckless homicide on Tuesday for the October crash that killed Dr. Matthew Burke and injured four others after several months of diligent investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol and Aiken County Solicitor’s office.

If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum of 10 years in jail and a mandatory five-year driver’s license revocation. His SUV struck the five cyclists riding in a group of 15 at 6:40 p.m. on Beech Island Avenue. Johnson told the highway patrol that he did not see the group because he was reaching down for something in his car.

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  1. Phil FTWFebruary 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I don’t think we want to read stories like this, but such is life. Let this be a reminder to RIDE as carefully, as we wish motorists to DRIVE.

  2. bergerandfriesFebruary 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I like it because at least some justice might be served here. Most times charges aren’t even filed.

  3. AmoebaFebruary 10, 2011 at 12:51 am

    At least the driver was honest. Some would have claimed they were distracted by a spider etc.

    The huge vehicles need to be fitted with GPS trackers and a video camera that looks at the driver.

  4. Joe PeraltaFebruary 10, 2011 at 8:56 am

    From the WRDW “News 12″ report:

    “Dr. Burke’s death is the second death involving a bicyclist in the last couple of weeks. On February 2nd, David Laughinghouse and his brother Richard were riding along Peach Orchard Road. Richmond County investigators say an SUV hit them, possibly because they were not wearing bright clothing at 3:00am. David died.”

    Not wearing bright clothing at 3 a.m.? Is that legal? And if the 3-ton SUV was doing the usual 70 mph they probably did serious damage to it, costing every good motorist more in insurance premiums. And they cheat justice by dying?

    I saw a report in Long Island Newsday some time back similar to this. The reporter seemed outraged over the damage the 2 dead cyclists did to the front end of the poor girl’s SUV, and concerned about the problems all this would cause the driver.

    Judging by the damage, she was probably doing about 70 on a dark country road. You wouldn’t believe a human could do that to a 3-ton truck, until you’ve seen it.

  5. No Justice 90October 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    90 days to be served ON WEEKENDS. No justice. I hope they are more successful with a civil suit.

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