Driver charged with vehicular homicide in death of Cherokee County cyclist

Credit: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

A driver has been arrested after investigators said he hit and killed a cyclist when he looked down to make sure he had his coffee mug.

Johnathan Welch, 35, of Ball Ground, faces second-degree vehicular homicide and other charges in connection with the death of Nathaniel Pool, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

Pool, 43, of Jasper, was riding his bike near Commerce Lane before sunrise Feb. 1, sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Jay Baker said Monday in a news release.

RELATED: Bicyclist killed after being struck by SUV in Cherokee County

Welch was driving a Jeep Renegade on Ga. 5 when took his eyes off the road to look for the coffee mug, according to Baker. As he looked up, he hit Pool from behind, investigators said.

Welch stayed at the scene and called 911. Pool was pronounced dead when deputies arrived.

In addition to vehicular homicide, Welch is charged with distracted driving and safe distance. He turned himself in at the Cherokee jail Friday and was released the same day on a $3,150 bond.

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