LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – An accident on Highway 207 claimed the life of one bicyclist and left another in seriously injured.
But there was a third cyclist who saw it all happen.
“I was in mid-sentence, and then all of a sudden, they fly past me. It all happened so fast,” said an emotional Melissa Driskell. She was riding with two of her friends and fellow cyclists when they were struck by a car around 8:30 Monday morning.
“I stop, and I’m on the phone with 911 and they’re both unconscious. The EMTs get there and they’re enough people there to address both of them.”
Scott Childers of the Anderson Volunteer Firefighters say that when they got on-scene, there was one cyclist laying in the street.
“I grabbed my medical bag and started towards him and realized there was another patient laying off the side of the road.”
Those men were James Green of Rogersville and Mannon Rogers of Sheffield.
“We realized they were both pretty serious,” explained Childers, “so we called for two helicopters and two ambulances.”
First responders say Green was pronounced dead the hospital. Rogers was upgraded from critical to fair condition at Huntsville Hospital Thursday.
“The worst part was just seeing them laying there, and there was nothing I could do,” said Driskell.
One day later, the only thing left are some markings on the road put in place at the time of the collision. At this point, Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate, and there is no word on whether charges will be filed.
“It took me a long time to feel like i could ride again,” said Driskell. Green and Rogers were riding behind Driskell to build up her confidence after she was hit on her bike a year ago.
“[They] made it a point of riding with her to enable her to get back to the thing she enjoyed so much, riding,” said her husband, Josh Driskell.
Melissa Driskell says riding with her friends made her feel safe again.”I thought…statistically how would that ever happen to me again. And I got to walk away, but Jamie didn’t get to walk away.”
“It’s tragic for everyone involved, including the driver. He has to live with what happened,” said Josh Driskell. He went on to say that motorists can create a better neighborhood in the Tennessee Valley by being more aware of cyclists’ rights and having a ‘general respect for human life.’ Driskell believes that motorists should be willing and able to slow down to prevent serious injury to a cyclist, as well as their loved ones.
“We’re supposed to have the same rights, but I don’t think we really do,” said Ryan Jones of Huntsville. Jones is a friend of Rogers, Green, and Driskell, and says the incidents seem to be more frequent.”Melissa had to live through yet another horrific accident, so…it’s definitely shocking.”
Returning to her bicycle then living through a second accident has traumatized Melissa Driskell to the point that she no longer plans to continue her hobby.
“I’m done,” she said emotionally, “I can’t get back on the bike after that.”