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Motorist who killed Athens bicyclist sentenced to probation

Updated: Sep 30

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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