Two cyclists die in accidents in less than a two week period in Memphis
By: Michael Lander
In less than two weeks, two cyclists have been killed on our city streets.
The deaths have left friends and families with not only a terrible sense of
loss, but with questions of how and why it happened.
The most recent fatality occurred on Monday evening, March 9, at around 8 p.m. Zachary Walls, 40, of Memphis was identified as the
This recent deadly incident occurred in the Binghamton
neighborhood at the intersection of Sam Cooper and Tillman. This cyclist was hit by a pick-up truck and he
was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of that pick-up, who hit Walls, 50-year-old Solomon Johnson of Memphis, remained at the scene of
this accident as Memphis Police investigated and gathered details. Johnson was subsequently arrested and charged with
driving on a suspended, revoked, or cancelled license and a violation of the
financial and state registration law.
Only a week and six days before, Eric Dyrell Taylor, 34, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run
driver around 10:35 p.m., as he was riding on the 3300 block of New Getwell
Road near Winchester. He was riding from his residence in Whitehaven and was
on his way to work at Swift Truck Company when he was killed.
Because the driver fled the scene, Memphis Police Department's traffic investigators are asking that anyone who may have seen anything, or who might
have some information regarding the accident that resulted in the death of
Taylor, should call Crime Stoppers
These two cycling-related deaths are the fourth and fifth that the Memphis area has
seen since 2010. The one prior to these
recent deaths occurred last July at U.S.
Hwy 61 and Star Landing Rd in Desoto County in Mississippi.
While the circumstances and details surrounding these cycling fatalities may have been different, they did share at least one thing in common with one another. Both of these cyclists were
riding at night when poor visibility may have been a contributing factor, especially for the
latest victim who was also riding while it was raining.
These two deadly accidents are a sad and tragic reminder of some of the dangers
that cyclists can face any time that they ride and it furthers emphasizes the
need for cyclists to remain vigilant, especially when riding in less than ideal
Even though accidents cannot always be avoided, cyclists can take some
precautions to help minimize some of the risks that are involved, most
notably, having bikes that are equipped with lights on the front and back, with
reflectors, and by wearing bright and reflective clothing.
Here is a link with some safety tips that cyclists might find especially helpful: http://memphiscyclist.com/html/safetytips.html.
As the friends and families of these two Memphis area cyclists mourn the loss
of their loved ones, the Memphis community should do
what it can to help prevent this from happening to any other cyclists who ride and commute on our city streets.