Emerson Chief of Police Stan Bradley, whose department is investigating the accident, said Pray was traveling north on Highway 41 when a charter bus struck him. Bradley said the bus driver was neither impaired nor speeding.
“We were able to determine that the bus was traveling right at the speed limit at 55 mph,” Bradley said. “Obviously a bicyclist is going to be going a lot slower than that and, therefore, you have a closing speed that is pretty high and when it struck him the weight ratio versus speed is going to cause pretty bad damage to the human body.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pray was wearing his helmet during the accident. He was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta by ambulance, but did not survive his injuries.
Emerson police have determined Pray was legally in the right-hand lane and not at fault.
“He was doing everything legally. A bicyclist, anybody on a bicycle, is legally [allowed] on a roadway other than an interstate. You can’t be on a limited access highway like an interstate. Any other roadway a bicyclist can be on. They have to stay in the right-hand lane and to the far right-hand side of that lane, still in the roadway, still to the left side of the fog line, but as close as they can get. [That] is where he was when he was struck,” Bradley said.
To Bradley’s knowledge this was the second fatal accident involving a bicyclist on Highway 41 in 10 years. He added the figure was for Emerson’s area of Highway 41 and there were likely other accidents or fatalities on other sections of the highway.
The bus driver’s identity and any charges are not yet available as the investigation is still ongoing. However, Bradley said the charges and driver’s identity would likely be released Nov. 26.