Atlanta Police have impounded a Dodge Nitro they believe could be the automobile that hit bicyclist Greg Germani on June 9th.
Law enforcement received a tip and found the damaged SUV Monday. Police have been searching for such a vehicle since the hit-and-run incident.
Police say that Germani was hit by a red Dodge Nitro while riding his bicycle on Flagler Avenue in the Morningside area. They estimate that his body was dragged approximately fifty feet by the auto.
Witnesses say that Germani was riding his bicycle down Montgomery Ferry Road and was almost hit by the vehicle. An argument ensued between Germani and the SUV driver. A video shows that a few moments later, Germani was cycling down Flagler Avenue with the SUV closely following.
Mr. Germani remains in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital.
If this vehicle turns out to be the one that hit Germani, the driver would most likely be charged with aggravated assault, among many charges.
In Georgia, aggravated assault is when a person assaults:
(1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;
(2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or
(3) A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons. A aggravated assault conviction can carry a prison sentence of no less than one year or up to years.
This story is quite scary. What kind of person purposefully runs down a human being with their vehicle? What kind of “road rage” is this? Of course, no one really knows what was said during the argument between Germani and the driver of the SUV, but I can't imagine it would warrant someone running over a person with their vehicle and leaving them for dead like an animal.
Motorists have to be on the lookout for cyclists and share the road. This is especially true during the spring and summer months, because that is when more people are out riding their bikes. Here are a few tips to avoid issues with cyclists:
- Drive carefully. This means lowering your speed when you come close to a cyclist. Keep in mind the obstacles they may face and allow them more space. ·
- Yield to cyclists. Bicycles are vehicles as well, and should be given the proper right-of-way. Give them extra time in intersections. ·
- Exercise caution when passing and leave at least 4 feet between you and a bicyclist. Make sure conditions are safe before you attempt to pass, and look over your shoulder before moving back. ·
- Look for cyclists in traffic and in intersections. Make sure that you look for them before blowing your horn or opening your car door. ·
- Last but definitely not least, be on the lookout for children on bikes. Be prepared for the unexpected, and drive slowly and carefully. Children do not know traffic laws and rules, and their size makes them difficult to see.
See? It is possible for motorists and cyclists to share the road! If charged with a traffic ticket in Metro Atlanta, Call the Atlanta Traffic Ticket Attorneys at my office.