Cyclist's death highlights tension between bikers, motorists

If there was ever a time for a cyclist to traverse heavily congested Roswell Road, the morning of July 4 was it.

Bryan Morgan, an accomplished cyclist, did everything right as he headed out for a sunrise ride with his son, according to Sandy Springs police spokesman Steve Rose. But that didn't prevent the Marietta grandfather from losing his life after being hit by a Toyota Camry driven by a Douglasville woman.

"He was wearing a bright yellow shirt," Rose said. "And there was little traffic on the road that morning."

For reasons unknown, Mary Wussah, arrested and charged Friday with second-degree vehicular homicide,  never saw Morgan, 52, Rose said.

Wussah, 51, was also charged with following too closely and failing to safely pass a cyclist, a new law that went into effect three days before the accident. She's believed to be the first person in Georgia charged in accordance with the new law, Rose said.

Drivers are now required to maintain a distance of at least three feet from cyclists. It was small victory for the growing ranks of cyclists who've taken to area roads, a vast majority of which include no bike lanes.

"It's been an uphill battle for cyclists in this state," said Todd Muller, owner of Reality Bikes in Cumming. He's been hit by cars two times while cycling, breaking a tibia, fibula and hip.

The climate for bikers has improved over the years, Muller acknowledged. And, living in an area where traffic snarls are a constant, he understands the impatience some drivers have with cyclists.

"I see the guy in a lawn truck, 6 p.m., he's been working all day and he just wants to get home and relax," Muller said. "But you don't see cars driving behind a tractor laying on their horn or giving the finger. And they're not riding a 17 pound carbon bike."

Rose said he hears from cyclists complaining about motorists and vice versa.

"Cyclists have to be aware that, no matter what laws are passed, you're dealing with a number of people on the road who just aren't paying attention," he said.

Wussah could not be reached for  comment. She was bound over to Fulton State Court Friday on $10,000 bond.