Witness recounts fatal bike wreck in Morgan County - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Witness recounts fatal bike wreck in Morgan County

R.A. McLeroy R.A. McLeroy
The accident happened Saturday morning in Morgan County. (Photo: Viewer) The accident happened Saturday morning in Morgan County. (Photo: Viewer)
MORGAN COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

The fatal wreck happened on a rural stretch of road in Morgan County around 8:30 Saturday morning.

State troopers said 60-year-old Walter Ham was riding his bike down East Upper River Road when he was struck from behind by a pickup truck driven by 84-year-old Rufus Nix.

The crash happened right in front of one man's house in Somerville.  

"I saw the pickup that hit the fellow. It was sitting in my driveway and the bicycle was still under it," said R.A. McLeroy.

Witnesses said Ham's body was thrown at least 80 feet by the impact. Ham was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers closed the road for several hours as they investigated the wreck.

"I'm sorry for the victim and his family and I am sorry for the people that hit him too. I'm sure that guy has thought a million times he could have avoided it if he had time to think," said McLeroy.

Ham is the second cyclist to be hit by a car in the Tennessee Valley in the last two weeks. The other wreck happened in Madison, but 20-year-old Richard Claus survived the crash.

WAFF 48 went to a local bike shop to talk safety for cyclists and drivers.

You may not know it, but in Alabama people on bikes have the same right to the road as people in cars.

"Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Cyclists belong on the road," said Tommy Reagh, the owner of Trailhead Inc.

Experts encourage cyclists to wear bright colored clothing and a helmet, and for drivers to stay alert.

"Slow down and give them some room. Ideally give them 3 feet to pass," added Reagh.

At this time, no charges have been filed against the driver of the pickup truck.

State troopers said they will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this crash.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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