By Joe Johnson
A bicyclist was killed Thursday night when struck from behind on Tallassee Road by a drunk driver, Athens-Clarke County police said.
The collision marked the fourth traffic fatality in the first three months of 2022, on the heels of a record-setting 24 traffic deaths in 2021.
In the most recent deadly crash, police said the initial investigation determined that a 67-year-old Athens man was riding his bicycle west on Tallassee Road slightly before 11 p.m., and as he approached the intersection with Westchester Drive, he was struck from behind by a 2020 Honda Accord.
The bicyclist was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced deceased, according to police.
Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson identified the victim as James V. Jones, who he said was cycling to his home on Vaughn Road after finishing work as a security guard for a local business.
The driver of the Honda, 25-year-old Luke Harrison Waldrop of Campobello, SC, was determined to be under the influence of alcohol, according to police, who said he was arrested and charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, DUI, and failure to provide clearance while passing a bicycle.
Waldrop, who was released from jail later Thursday morning upon posting good security bonds totaling $13,400.
The investigation is ongoing, and police asked for anyone with information about the incident to contact Sgt. Michael Wood at 762-400-7087 or Michael_Wood@accgov.com.