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Bicyclist killed, another in critical in accident on River Road

(updated: Jul 24, 2011)

Update on case: New details emerge in fatal wreck of Doolittles. So the cocaine possession charge was dropped, because it was mephedrone, not cocaine. Well, whoop de doo, he was still abusing it, causing impairment, and now it's illegal anyway.

This is a developing story, so not much in the way of info, but here's a link to WECT:
Bicyclist killed, another in critical in accident on River Road.

This really sucks. I've always avoided River Rd because there's a less than 2 ft bike lane (actually I don't consider that a bike lane, that's nothing more than a narrow shoulder) and the speed limit is 55mph, which is way too fast, and people drive way faster than this. I think it's safer with no lane/shoulder and a lower speed limit.

I (and others I ride with) have had more close calls on this road than anywhere else in Wilmington. I think it's a very dangerous road with a history of bicycle-car accidents and at least one death (The Case of Jordan Whitley). It seems it wouldn't be because it's straight and you can see cyclists from a mile away so you have plenty of time to plan and adjust. But that's not what the jerks around here do in their assault vehicles. They don't give you a fucking inch. In fact, I was out riding this morning with Ed, on our road-trail-beach ride, and on the way to Wrightsville I had to yell at a guy passing too close. I mean, I took the lane, and he still pushed his way through. Two foot law? Yeah, that's a joke.

You can see cyclists from a mile away on that road, especially around Halyburton Memorial Parkway where it happened! So what other conclusion could I come too other than this could have been deliberate.

I ride early Sunday morning because there's less traffic. Guess I'll have to rethink that theory.

Also, you should get one of these:
Dinotte Lighting taillight

Expensive but think of it as cheap insurance. This thing is so bright, I figure if someone still hits me they did it on purpose. I won't ride on the roads around here without it.

I am also considering carrying a firearm in a clearly visible location. It may deter the jerks out there. I don't know, probably not.

I'll update this post with more info as I get it.


Filed Under: General Entries > North Carolina > Wilmington


1. SBA said...

More info here:
Father killed, son injured in River Road bicycle accident

See my link above. This isn't the first time this has happened.

This town has a serious DWI problem that it refuses to do anything about because it's profitable.

Apr 3, 2011 @ 2:52 PM

2. ovt said...

you are so right
the local judicial system makes a ton of money off drunk/impaired drivers
they should make an example of this guy
once is too many times and as you say this is not the first time

Apr 4, 2011 @ 6:33 PM

3. Sir Peanuts said...

Update: The son died earlier today. What a damn shame...

Apr 4, 2011 @ 6:47 PM

4. B Bannerman said...

I would like to appeal to all cyclists to participate in a bike ride, perhaps with the funeral procession, on the way to or from or both,filling the road with bikers, to honor these two cyclists and to help create awareness for bikers in the area. Perhaps you, Sir Bikes a Lot, with your contacts, connections, and willingness to share your love of the spin, will consider organising such a ride. I would be honored to participate.

Apr 4, 2011 @ 7:12 PM

5. SBA said...

More info here:
Father killed, son injured in River Road bicycle accident.

What a horrible tragedy. I see that nothing has changed with how the New Hangover County handles DWIs since the last guy was run over.

The article also states that "New Hanover County had the highest rate of bicycle crashes in the state compared to population and the fourth highest total number of accidents". That's a shame, given our great climate and flat terrain that's ideal for bicycling.

The DOT, NHC, and the NHC justice system all have blood on their hands.

Apr 4, 2011 @ 8:36 PM

6. SBA said...

Yes, I've been thinking of organizing something...a bike protest, but then the problem is larger than just cyclists. This guy could have just as easily killed a mother and child in a car in a head on collision.

So I was thinking a bike ride to the DA's offices or courthouse to protest the lax DWI enforcement. It's a serious uncorrected problem here. I need to get in touch with Barb Lynch to coordinate something.

I imagine if 100 cyclists show up in front of the courthouse to peacefully protest NHCs handling of DWIs it would get some attention.

Apr 4, 2011 @ 9:00 PM

7. Michael said...

Between impaired drivers (day and night), probably close to 50% of drivers on the phone or texting, speed limits set way too high, and inadequate bike/ped infrastructure, our chances out there are really not that good. I think SBA has a good idea to send a strong message that this is a huge problem and needs action immediately.

My thoughts go out to the Doolittle family to have the strength to get through this horrible tragedy. I'm sorry that pieces of shit like Grooms exist in this world.

Apr 4, 2011 @ 10:20 PM

8. SBA said...

Editorial posted late last night:
Editorial - No matter how safe we try to make a road, drunken drivers still will take lives

Personally, I think the DWI laws are a joke. In other countries, they take your license away forever. They won't do that here because of our auto-based culture.

The running joke around here is if you're selected for jury duty they don't bother asking you if you've had any DWIs but how many DWIs have you had. Welcome to Wilmington.

Apr 5, 2011 @ 7:14 AM

9. peter said...

senseless is all i can say....i gave up road biking when we moved here 20 years ago...had everything thrown at me....yet this tragedy is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to alcoholism, alcoholics, vehicles, enforcement, prevention , treatment, bike advocacy, safety, the DOT, our judicial system, our local leadership,etc.....this truely saddens me

Apr 5, 2011 @ 7:45 AM

10. Billy R said...

after hearing about this i learned how lucky i was to still be alive after being hit by a jeep going 50 mph!!!! The drivers in this town are crazy!!!! I am in full support of a protest of any type!!

Apr 5, 2011 @ 8:51 AM

11. SBA said...

Here's an event scheduled for Sunday:

Do something for Doolittle

Apr 5, 2011 @ 9:02 AM

12. biggoofy said...

I really wish I could make it to this event. This problem needs to be addressed thats for sure!

Apr 6, 2011 @ 2:41 PM

13. Peter W said...

After hearing what happened I could only feel sorrow for the family. Today coming off Wrightsville Beach there were several motorists squeezing by me at high speed and not allowing for my right away. Please keep us informed if a protest rally becomes a reality.. our weak traffic laws will only equate to more cyclists deaths.

Apr 9, 2011 @ 8:52 PM

14. See said...

Another man made drug that directly kills thousands every year. Pure poison. First one for health, second one for pleasure and the third for madness. Don't forget. Drink responsibly! I'm sticking with nature.

Apr 22, 2011 @ 3:40 AM

15. SBA said...


Man accused of killing bicyclists indicted on murder charges

Apr 25, 2011 @ 10:36 PM

16. peter W said...

I cant see giving this guy anything else other than life in prison. I've been making it a point to detour down river road when heading towards CB. Traffic moves way faster than 55mph. To me River Road is a means to bypass the main stream traffic and lights on CB Road at a high speed or hide from the law when intoxicated. Six trips in the last three weeks and not a single patrol car in site not even a speed trap on the side of the road. I think our local law enforcement needs to make a statement and there presence known on RR.

Apr 28, 2011 @ 8:35 PM

17. SBA said...

Additional articles:

Bicycle ride memorializes father, son, and raises awareness of bike safety

Hundreds mourn father and son killed while riding bikes

Jul 24, 2011 @ 12:00 AM


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