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Monday, June 26, 2017

One Memphis area cyclist shot in May, another killed by a drunk driver in June

One Memphis area cyclist shot in May, another killed by a drunk driver in June
By:  Michael Lander

Since 2010, the Memphis area has experienced the deaths of eight cyclists.  Efforts by organizations like
Bike Walk Tennessee and Memphis City government are helping to make the streets safer for
everyone who must use, ride, or try to cross the streets to include vehicular operators, the disabled,
pedestrians, and cyclists.

Within the last month, one cyclist has been shot and another has been killed by a drunk driver in
Memphis.

The shooting occurred at 2:45 p.m. on Delta and Manson Rd. in
Whitehaven on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

The name of the victim, the motive, and many of the details surrounding the shooting have not yet been released because it is an active and ongoing police investigation.

What is known is that the victim was shot twice and was transported to
Regional Medical Center in critical condition. 

The cyclist told police that he had been shot by an unknown assailant and witnesses told police that they saw a four-door silver Audi speeding away from the scene after multiple shots had been fired.

The suspect is still at large and the Memphis Police Department is asking that anyone with any knowledge concerning this shooting to please come forward and to provide any details or information that may help in solving this case.

By calling
Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH (2274), individuals are eligible to receive a cash reward up to $1,000, while remaining anonymous, for any information that leads to an arrest or a grand jury indictment of a felony offender.

The other cyclist, who was killed on Thursday, June 15, 2017, at 10:40 p.m., was identified as 34-year-old Kenya Q. Matthews of 2738 Steele St.

Matthews was found on the side of Weaver Rd., 100 feet north of Raines Rd. after being struck by a
2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan that was driven by 62-year-old Melvin A. Willies.

Willies told police that Matthews had ridden his bike directly in front of him and that he could not avoid hitting him.

Willies had remained at the scene of the accident and told police that he had had a few shots of alcohol at a club prior to this incident.

Willies had slurred speech, was swaying, had watery eyes, and a strong odor of alcohol so he was administered a field sobriety test, which he failed.

He was subsequently charged with vehicular homicide that involved
driving under the influence (D.U.I.) and driving a vehicle without a valid driver’s license or car insurance.

Willies also had two prior D.U.I. convictions with one in Iowa on February 10, 2011 and one in Minnesota on October 4, 2013.

Matthews was the son of local talk radio show host and pastor of
Naked Truth Liberation and Empowerment Ministries, Thaddeus Matthews.  The two, reportedly, were estranged from one another.

The younger Matthews graduated from
Westside High School in 2002.  He was employed as a service technician at an automotive shop, and was a Dallas Cowboy’s fan.

From where he was struck and killed, he was approximately 15.9 miles away from his home.

Matthews’ death was the first of a cyclist in Memphis in 2017.  The last one was that of 49-year-old,
Archer Sims, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016.

Altogether, since 2010, the Memphis area has experienced the deaths of eight cyclists with one this year, one in 2016, 2014, 2012, and 2011, and three in 2015.

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