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Athens bicyclist killed by alleged drunk driver


Luke Harrison Waldrop

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.


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25 Comments


Eric Murphy
Eric Murphy
Mar 05, 2022

Can the same can be said for walking on sidewalks as we have had several pedestrian deaths recently.. did those people have it coming for walking so close to a road on sidewalks?... and based on the idiotic statements here the same could be said for driving a car as that puts you in the most danger with regard to accidents with other cars.... so according to our resident knuckle draggers if you are properly operating your vehicle on the road and drunk driver hits you ... well you kinda had it coming since you were on the road too?

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Unknown member
Mar 05, 2022
Replying to

No one ever said he "had it coming"... You call us knuckle draggers but you are the one incapable of understanding nuance. Clearly you were taught what to think and not how to think.

In case you are confused as to what I mean by nuance (I'm sure you are), there are degree's of risk to all the activities you have brought into this within your strawman argument.

The greatest risk by far is riding a bike in the road with 3000 lbs chunks of metal flying by at 40 mph and betting your life that they will all be sober, safe and competent drivers. Common sense and a firm grasp on reality will tell anyone using their brain tha…

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emccorkle
emccorkle
Mar 05, 2022

Everybody talks about their rights, but not their responsibilities.

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emccorkle
emccorkle
Mar 05, 2022

A wise old uncle told me at a young age, the right away ain’t worth a dam in the graveyard.

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Unknown member
Mar 05, 2022
Replying to

Not trying to be an ass, just helpful... It's "right of way". We all have a couple phrases we get wrong like that.

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Almost 70% of ACC SPLOST was related to cycling and pedestrians. Why?? Our great leaders insist on cramming the square into a circle by making ACC some monument to cycling. It's a hilly town that really is very poorly situated for cycling: terrain, visibility, demographics (young destracted driver's, old drivers, and illegal drivers). Limited access on a river makes sense but anything else is just forcing an idea that is wildly impractical. I am sad for this man's life taken by careless disregard of laws. Tell your kids to read the number of DUIs caught on mugshots and multiple it by 5 or 8.

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So it is ok for this guy to DUI???!!! Lets talk about that!!! This guy is a free man out walking the streets while Mr. Jones a friend and co-worker is DEAD!!!!

A man who worked that day to make a honest living and on his way home from a honest day of work and his life taken bc this guy decided to DUI!!!

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Replying to

I am very capable of reading and free to comment as I choose. I’m not questioning your comments nor anyone else comments. And the way you came at me cursing and questioning my abilities because of the comment I made freely as you have you are starting with me. I didn’t curse at you. So have a nice day as I am done replying to you. Thank you!

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