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Motorist who killed Athens bicyclist sentenced to probation

Updated: Sep 30, 2023


Luke Harrison Waldrop

By Joe Johnson

A man who struck and killed an Athens bicyclist with his car this week pleaded guilty to misdemeanor vehicular homicide and was sentenced to two years on probation.

Luke Harrison Waldrop, 26, of South Carolina was driving his car on Tallassee Road the night of March 3, 2022 when the vehicle struck from behind 67-year-old James Vivean Jones Jr., who was riding his bicycle to his home on Vaughn Road after finishing work as a security guard for a local business. Jones was pronounced deceased upon being transported to the hospital.

Athens-Clarke County police initially charged the driver with first-degree homicide by vehicle, DUI, and failure to provide clearance while passing a bicycle.

Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez did not file charges until this week, when she entered an accusation in Superior Court that charged Waldrop with second-degree homicide by vehicle and improper passing.

As part of a plea agreement Waldrop on Thursday pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charges and was sentenced to probation and ordered to complete a defensive driving course.


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14 Comments


Christine Buice
Christine Buice
Sep 23, 2023

Chilling. Literally, this gave me the chills...

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I hope the regulars in the comment section realize that in order to charge someone with a crime, there has to be sufficient evidence to do so. When the police do not provide that evidence, those charges are not supported.

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Replying to

Yep. You can always refuse a breathalyzer, it is your right. They then have the option to take you for a blood test.

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OC_DadOfSix
OC_DadOfSix
Sep 22, 2023

Wow! I wish I were surprised

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The initial charges looked significant; DUI and homicide by vehicle. What changed?

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Thank you.

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ThatGirl
ThatGirl
Sep 22, 2023

This is absolutely disgusting. How you can kill someone and get probation blows me.

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Replying to

Or, and most probable (since it appears he was charged), he was offered a pretty nice opportunity to take a plea

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