Atlanta Motorcycle Event Marred by Tragedy

The long weekend of August 5th through 9th had promised to be a fun one for participants in the Atlanta Bikers Round Up. The motorcycle event occurred at Atlanta Motor Speedway, south of Atlanta in Hampton, Georgia. Hotel rooms in Henry, Fayette, Clayton and Spalding Counties were all sold out for the event. For the most part, the round up went off without a hitch, though police, acting on a tip that two rival biker gangs were planning to fight at the event, did confiscate a car full of illegal weapons. According to police, not one fight or assault was reported, and the worst problem at the actual event was the vicious traffic.

But the ending of the event was marred with tragedy when two separate wrecks left nine bikers injured and one dead – and all because of careless drivers in vehicles of the four wheel variety.

The fatal crash occurred on Saturday at around 2:30 am on Riverdale Road near Garden Walk Boulevard. A man was driving his motorcycle with a female passenger on the back when they were struck by a car. The car was driven by Lamar Jayson Johnson, 18, and after he struck the motorcycle he went on to hit another car before exiting his car and attempting to run. Johnson was chased and detained by a citizen witness.

While the male motorcycle driver was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries, the female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. Both were wearing their helmets, which are required by Georgia law. The woman was from South Caroline and the man was from Riverdale, Georgia.

The car’s driver, Johnson, was arrested on a plethora of charges including first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI, possession of alcohol by a minor, leaving the scene of an accident, and following too closely.

The incident was followed by another tragedy on Sunday. An accident involving three cars and six motorcycles left eight people hospitalized. The crash took place on I-75 in Henry County and also involved bikers who were heading home from the National Bikers Round Up.

According to Henry County Police Captain Jason Bolton, the accident resulted from vehicles following too closely. This occurred due to the phenomenon popularly called “rubbernecking.” Apparently a car was stopped on the side of the road, and as people tried to get a glimpse of the trouble they began following too closely, leading to a pileup. Fortunately, no one was fatally injured in the incident.

Tomorrow on the MLN Law Blog I will bring you some important statistics and safety warnings about motorcycles – whether you are a motorcycle driver, a passenger, or the driver of another vehicle that shares the road with motorcycles.

Meanwhile, if you or anyone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident, call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation.