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Driver: Cyclist Appeared To Be Kneeling in Roadway Before He Was Struck

Decatur police released Tuesday the accident report in Monday's fatal collision on North Decatur Road.

Paul Taylor may have been on the pavement, not his bike, , the truck driver told Decatur police.

According to the accident report released Tuesday, pickup driver Jorge Mercado-Perez, 57, of Snellville "stated the bicyclist appeared to be kneeling in the roadway as if he had fallen."

Decatur police Capt. Scott Richards said Tuesday there are no witnesses to the accident. No charges have been filed, Richards said, but the investigation is not finished.

Other than the name of the driver and the statement about Taylor not being on the bike, the report reveals few new details about .

The collision happened at 6:23am Monday on North Decatur Road just west of the intersection with Willivee Drive.

The report says Taylor's GT Series 3 bike and Mercado's 2004 Ford Ranger truck were both in the inside, eastbound lane of North Decatur Road.

The truck was traveling east and the bike was "traveling southbound," but that may be police report jargon. The section of the report on "vehicle maneuvers" says the bike had stopped in the roadway.

The report says emergency medical services arrived at 6:28am and the ambulance arrived at the hospital at 7:05am Taylor was pronounced dead at .

Mercado could not be reached for comment.

A memorial service will be held at 7pm Thursday at for Taylor a physician's assistant, volunteer soccer coach and triathlete.

Don Broussard May 03, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I'm sure the truck driver is being completely truthful. Except maybe for the part where he was driving 50 mph going downhill ... in a 35mph zone. At 35 you can stop for someone "kneeling in the roadway" — but not at +45. I hope the DeKalb police find this statement to be as incredulous as I do.
wle atlanta II May 04, 2012 at 11:15 AM
inside lane - is that near the curb or the center? wle
Steve May 04, 2012 at 12:35 PM
First, it's Decatur Police, not DeKalb. Second, one cannot say whether he could have stopped or not, since we don't know the distance involved.
Don Broussard July 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Steve, you mean YOU don't know the distance involved. According to the driver's own statement, the cyclist did not tumble unavoidably in front of his truck (unless you believe, Steve, the victim fell and landed upright on his knees). The distance the driver had to stop should be determined by the distance his headlights illuminated since it was reported as still dark. A typical / standard vehicle and driver at 35 mph takes about 138 feet and 3.6 seconds to stop (source: Marc Green PhD, human factors engineer). Other figures are available— go look them up. The truck driver should have been able to change lanes or even leave the roadway to avoid the collision in even less time than 3.6 seconds. The sight illumination distance of his headlamps is a key factor the Decatur PD needed to have measured. A thorough investigation (skid marks, truck's headlamp beam length, vehicle weight, road gradient and ambient conditions, etc) should determine a reliable / approximate distance and speed and recreate the accident. Unfortunately, the DECATUR police report as quoted already seems ambiguous ("truck was traveling east and the bike was "traveling southbound" WTF?) Bottom line: if the truck driver was exceeding safe speed limit conditions etc., then a crime has been committed. Do you want to argue this was an "unavoidable" accident?
Callie Ulven December 28, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Mr Taylor was my best friends dad. He was like a second dad to me. Words cannot express the feeling you feel when you've lost someone you love. Whether the person who hit him was speeding or not Mr Taylor would not be kneeling in the road. He was one of the safest people I ever knew. Even though people say time heals all wounds they're wrong. Time give you an understanding but this will always hurt.

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