Cyclist killed by truck in Desoto County

Police Lights Daytime

DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. — A bicyclist is dead after being hit and killed by a tractor trailer truck.

The crash happened this afternoon near Star Landing Road and Highway 61.

The bicyclist was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol and the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department are investigating.

60 comments

    • Debby Sutherland

      Much better on the corrections to this. Now it is correct.
      I agree with the post! WHY are they on the roads? They should ride where there are only bike lanes. Sorry for your loss if you knew this person but history is repeating.
      It should be against the law to ride a bike on a road with vehicles unless there is a lane for it.
      It is like playing Russian roulette.

  • Evette

    Why are cyclist even allowed on a road without bike lanes? They get on my nerves, they can cause an accident, because you swerve into the other lane trying not to hit them.
    I’m all for them riding bikes….in the right place.
    Bike mafia will come after me in 3…2…1.

    • PatrickGSR94

      If you have to swerve to avoid hitting a cyclist, then you were not paying attention enough to slow down and/or change lanes earlier so as to safely overtake the cyclist. Perhaps you should review the rules of the road.

      Bikes have a right to all roads where they’re not specifically prohibited (limited access highways). I’m a pretty experienced cyclist and control the lane in most places because experience has shown that’s what is safest, but I personally would not ride on this road. Yet It is YOUR responsibility, **YOURS**, to maintain proper lookout and control of your vehicle so as to not endanger others. That’s what you agreed to do when you were granted the PRIVILEGE of operating a motor vehicle on public roads.

      • Debby Sutherland

        I’m sorry….experienced riders DOES NOT = responsible drivers in any lane, county, city, state, country. Drivers will run over you because we will not ever achieve 100% accident free roads in this life. Maybe the next life…but not this one. You are dreaming.

    • samuel

      some don’t have any other choice. I’m glad I now live in a city that has one of the best bicycle infrastructures I’ve experienced. I am now a full-time cyclist.
      legally being able to ride on that road doesn’t mean they should…. so in other words I agree with you..
      being the only parent to my 4 year old son I would never ride on a road like that.
      One day I hope there will be a safe bicycle routes all the way to the coast, about 100 mile journey so I can take my son safely.

      • PatrickGSR94

        Samuel it sounds like you have conceded to riding only where there is bike infrastructure. If so you’re really missing out. Yes there are roads that really aren’t safe for bicycle riding, such as Highway 61 at the area where this tragic incident occurred. But many roads are TOTALLY safe for cyclists, even without installed infrastructure. I ride with my son all over Southaven where there are zero bike lanes, and we do it quite safely. I encourage you to check out the principles for bicycle “driving” taught by Cycling Savvy and iamtraffic.org

      • samuel82j

        PATRICKGSR94 I am a second generation cyclist that has been cycling my whole life.
        I know all the laws by heart.
        just moved from my place with the worst cycling conditions. That being said since moving here I have gone on small tours with my son.

    • oj1963

      Are you kidding me? You have to swerve in the other lane to miss them? Have you ever heard of slowing down and waiting till its safe to pass? The cyclist is a person they have a life and a family they deserve the respect of you paying attention.

      • Debby Sutherland

        They have the right but is it smart? They are trusting other drivers with their life and it is like roulette even in a car. You can ride but you are responsible for the risks. Doesn’t matter who has the right to be where when you are dead.

  • Steviewonder

    Bikes have every right to be on the road. It is considered a vehicle. It is state law to give a cyclist 3 feet. A life was lost and you make a joke about it.

    • Wtngent

      Bikers have a right to the road as long as they bike to the right of the lane. It is difficult to allow that 3 foot distance when bikers to not do their part and ride to the right. I don’t know the situation in this tragedy, but it should be sad reminder that the biking codes are designed for both bikers and cars to use the same lane with minimum risk. If one or both parties ignores the state codes, then usually the biker will be the one who pays dearly. This should be a wake up call to those bikers who either enjoy riding in a group or those who ride two abreast and refuse to move over. By the way, the state codes allow biking two abreast as long as you don’t obstruct traffic. That latter detail tends to be ignored.

      • robokevin

        According to the law in both Mississippi and Tennessee (and every other state that I am aware of), Cyclists have full use of the lane. Automobile drivers are legally allowed to pass with a 3-foot distance when it is safe to do so (at least in Tennessee, in Many states Automobile drivers must use the full lane to pass. But I can’t imagine Mississippi having very modern cycling laws).

        At any time, a Cyclist is well within their rights to ride in the center of the lane, requiring the driver to pass as if they were passing an automobile. In many cases, taking the lane is the best way for a cyclist to ensure their safety.

      • PatrickGSR94

        NO! Far To Right laws need to be repealed! They were NOT put in place in the name of safety, they were put in place under the guise of safety but really it was in the name of not “slowing down” traffic. Well guess what, cars slow down other cars. Traffic lights slow down cars. Construction zones with lane closures, in which EVER MOTORIST takes on the “Must Get In Front” mentality slows down other cars. There are very few cyclists in this country, and yet traffic jams exist far and wide.

        No one knows the details of what happened, so no one knows for sure yet what happened. I would venture a guess that one of two things likely happened: either the cyclist was riding far to the right on the white line (there is no paved shoulder on 61 at Star Landing), and truck driver either drifted over, or wasn’t paying attention and didn’t move over to give adequate passing clearance. Or, the cyclist may have suddenly swerved to the left in the trucker’s path. Something else entirely may have happened, but those are the most likely possibilities.

        Both possibilities would have been mitigated if the cyclist had been using his legal right to the full right lane, and also had other safety devices like very bright flashing lights, etc. Using the full lane puts you out in front of motorists’ vision, and is THE MOST SAFE place to be! Yes MS has “far to the right” laws, but there is an exception that applies in almost all cases: when a lane is not wide enough for a car/truck and cyclist to share with the legally required 3-foot separation. If the lane is narrower than 14 feet (almost all traffic lanes including those on Hwy 61) then the cyclist has the legal right to full lane.

      • Wtngent

        Robokevin, you are mistaken about the Tenn. biking codes. Please Google “Tennessee Biking Laws.” The opening statement says:
        Tennessee traffic laws require bicyclists to:
        Ride on the right-hand side of the road with the same direction as traffic.
        and….
        1) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
        (A) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
        (B) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or
        (C) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles,

      • PatrickGSR94

        *ahem* no, you forgot the most important exception, stating that a cyclist has the right to use the full lane when the lane is of sub-standard width such that a motor vehicle and a cyclists cannot both be in the same lane with the required 3-foot separation distance. This equates to a 14-foot minimum lane width, which is very rare. Most road lanes are 11-12 feet wide, and in any of those cases, the cyclist has the legal right to use that full lane width. And contrary to popular belief, that is THE SAFEST way to ride on a public road.

        This is the actual section in the State of Tennessee Code of Law Annotated:
        “55-8-175. Riding on roadways and bicycle paths — Penalty.
        (a) (1) Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except under any of the following situations:
        (A) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;
        (B) When preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or
        (C) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, “substandard width lane” means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.”

      • robokevin

        I don’t need to Google it, I have been involved in Tennessee cycling law since long before you ever trolled the internet. Very often, “as close to the right as practical” requires taking the lane, as you would know if you had ever done any case review at all. The key to safety as a cyclist is being visible and predictable. In many cases, riding down the edge of the road (where drivers don’t look, and where you would have to swerve at a moments notice to avoid an obstacle) is downright suicidal. Putting yourself and others at risk is the opposite of practical.

        It’s funny that you cropped your quotation of the code before finishing TCA 55-8-175.a.1.C, because the law is about as clear as it could possibly be.

      • Adinmem

        Robokevin, what part of the code is it that was cropped? The part dealing with the fact that 3′ is the minimum passing distance for a car overtaking a cyclist in a lane, or that this particular law does not apply to police engaged in lawful performance of duty? The law is indeed clear, and you seem to have an opinion of what it means without having read it.

      • robokevin

        WTNGENT wrote:

        “(C) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles,”

        And then stopped right there. Because the rest of the law didn’t mesh well with his poor argument. The rest of the law is as follows:

        “pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge. For purposes of this section, “substandard width lane” means a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.”

        Thus, in any situation where it is not safe to ride on the right edge of the road, the cyclist is encouraged to take the lane. The vast majority of our roads are substandard width (14 feet or narrower is the most commonly cited standard).

  • Keith In Granite Falls, WA.

    I have see way too many bikers run lights, and totally disregard the rules of the road!
    He’s one biker that ran one too many lights and got nailed FINALLY!
    I don’t weep for ANY of those who get nailed from what I have seen.
    Why don’t they take a test and pay a yearly license fee like we motorists do?

    • Cathy

      I own cars and bikes so I pay plenty of taxes. Unless you’very tried group biking then you don’t know what you’re missing. Great exercise and fellowship. Terrible news that a cyclist was killed today and a jogger yesterday. So sad.

    • robokevin

      Do you also celebrate after reading stories of babies dying in after being left in hot cars? Or is it only when Those Damned Hippies die that you get turned on?

    • PatrickGSR94

      Excuse me? So I guess you follow the letter of the law in your motor vehicle 100% perfect all of the time? You ALWAYS stop fully at stop signs? You NEVER exceed the speed limit by even 1 mph? You ALWAYS use your turn signal EVERY TIME you change direction or change lanes in you motor vehicle? Yeah sure, doesn’t happen, with anyone, anywhere. So according to you, cyclists are not deserving of road respect, most which being not getting HIT by a deadly vehicle, because of a FEW cyclists committing a FEW traffic infractions? Do you also wish death and destruction upon motorists who roll through stop signs and don’t use turn signals, or the ones who pass you 5-10 MPH faster in the left lane while you yourself are going 5 over in the right lane?

      Let me lay it out for you. All persons have the right to use the roads. THE RIGHT. Citizens by law cannot be prevented from using roads to get from A to B. Using a non-motorized vehicle (bicycle, tricycle, horse, horse-drawn carriage) does not require any sort of licensing. But when you get in a multi-ton vehicle fully capable of maiming and killing more vulnerable road users (cyclists, motor cyclists, pedestrians, even other drivers), then that requires a license, because the potential for death is much, MUCH higher. A firearm requires a permit to carry in public, because it is a deadly weapon. A motor vehicle is the same. Likewise you have to have a higher level of license to operate a much larger, commercial vehicle. So that’s why a motor vehicle requires a license to operate, and a bicycle does not. And I promise you that is never going to change.

    • Praying

      Are you crazy there was no running a red light this boy was riding a bike down a road where there was no red lights so before you run down a boy that was killed by a 18 wheeler you need to learn your facts !!!!

    • MacMadame

      I guess that means you never drive your car on any road that allows 18 wheelers. I mean, it’s sad, but with such a disparity in size, well you are just asking for trouble if you get hit!

  • Evette

    Roads are for 4 tire vehicles ….not 2. Get on a bike lane….bike trail whatever you call it.
    You are in the way!
    We may as well let skateboarders in the road also…..right. I swear…..in a few years you will be able to marry a dog!

    • PatrickGSR94

      Sorry, wrong again. Roads are for all road users, and as a cyclist I am a road user in a legally-defined vehicle. Sorry you hate it, but that’s the way it is. Better get used to it. Slow down a bit, take a breath, and CHANGE LANES to pass a cyclist!! It IS NOT that hard, and the precious few seconds it may cost you are not worth the life of another human being.

  • 1midtownmike

    Sad that this happened, but I have seen too many cyclists who refuse to share the roads with motorized vehicles.
    They ride side by side on rural county roads as if they’re asking to get mowed down, often riding into oncoming lanes.

    • PatrickGSR94

      Yes riding into oncoming lanes is very bad behavior, which I do not condone at all. But let’s think for a second. You really need to change lanes fully to pass when it’s safe. And what is going to be easier to pass – a line of 10 cyclists single file, stretching out 100 feet or more, or that same line of cyclists side-by-side stretching only 50 feet long or less? Which is easier to pass, a long semi truck or a short compact car? The shorter the vehicle, the easier it is to pass.

      Even if they’re single file, you still have to get into the oncoming lane to pass at least partially, which you don’t need to do on a blind curve or hill (unless you’re one of these IDIOTS who likes to force oncoming traffic off the road because you have such a massive sense of me-first entitlement mentality). So the shorter the overall length of the group, the easier they will be to pass. So 2 wide or even 3 wide will be easier to pass, as long as they don’t get into the oncoming lane.

  • Scott T

    You own a car – as do I – not the road. They are both vehicles. Cyclists riding on roads are not the problem. Unsafe practices by motor vehicles, a me first entitled attitue, anmy car is bigger than your bike so move and the fact that motorists are uneducated when it come to cyclists – those are the real issues. When a cyclist is riding legally & a motor vehicle doesn’t have the courtesy to give at least 3 feet or change lanes to pass – the law – this is ridiculous. Why? Because motorists figure out ways to slow down & drive around a cardboard box, a downed tree, a stopped car but, a cyclist – no way. I just don’t get it. Where are you going in such a hurry? Work? The grocery? Soccer practice? Does it matter?

  • Daniel

    Wow, I am continually amazed at people that carry a grudge against cyclists because they slow them down a number of seconds at times. Even leveling the sentence of a well-deserved death. I’ve seen tonight on this message board what I pray I never become.

  • TNBikeRider

    The Memphis Hightailers Bicycle Club are actually training their 1400+ members to follow all the laws of the road, including; stopping at all stop signs, stopping at all red lights, riding to more than 2 abreast, and many other rules/laws of the road.

    • Debby Sutherland

      Some are being rather hateful. But nicely stated, “Don’t ride unless there is a bike lane!!!!!” This is not hate this is concern for YOUR safety. You can be the BEST at what you do but there are not GOOD, much less BEST, drivers in Memphis. I don’t care if I’m delayed due to a rider but I do care that someone died. An 18 wheeler? Really? If you don’t know any better than to ride on the roads with these you need to have your 2 wheels flattened so you cannot do it anymore.

      • MacMadame

        Any driver who routinely runs over whatever is in front of him whenever it is going slower than he likes deserves to have his license taken away and be thrown in jail. Do you drive you car like that? I sure hope not.

        I was taught never to hit anything with my car. It’s the #1 rule of driving. If something is in front of me and it’s going slower than I am, I SLOW DOWN. If it’s going really slow and I want to go faster, I move over to pass once it’s safe to do so. That is how you safely drive a car and that’s how all the drivers I know do it whether that slow thing in front of them is a tractor, a bike or Grandma driving to church on Sunday.

        If you really think that drivers are constantly running over anything that gets in their way, then I suggest you stay off the road because then it’s truly not safe out there. And, if that’s how you drive, I hope they take your license away because anyone who drives like that is a menace to society.

  • George

    Just for the record Iain was a young canadian on a trip to New Orleans. I have known Iain for many years and he was a quiet young man who many of us grieve for on his return to Canada

  • redblur63

    Thank you, George, for reminding us all that a person died. A person named Iain, who had family and friends who cared about him. That is the important takeaway from this story. So many of commenters here should be ashamed of themselves.

  • barry

    As a professional class A truck driver, and cyclist this is my worst nightmare from both perspectives, but I must say the real problem is bad drivers.
    Selfish, impatient, distracted, too many drivers are ignorant of the rules and fail to meet their responsibilities. I encounter dozens of bad drivers every day, I’m rarely effected by bad cyclists, maybe a couple times a year.

    • Debby Sutherland

      Amen Barry….I don’t think most are blaming the person that died except that, even though he may have followed the law, he shouldn’t have been on a bike with an 18 wheeler anywhere near. This is concern for the rest of you that are reading this. I’m not bashing the guy, I’m asking others to NOT do with he did so they won’t get killed.

  • Praying

    Anybody that is setting on here blaming that young boy has to be cold…I passed the accident on my way home and it bothered me all day and i don’t even no the boy but when you see a young boy in a ditch with his bike flip over it kinda gets to you well that is if you have a heart some of you must not!! If this was your child you wouldn’t be sitting on here saying how this boy shouldn’t have been riding his bike in the road! Show some RESPECT for this boys FAMILY!! if you have negative things to say just get off here and keep them to your self!! My Prayers are with the Family Of this Young Boy and With the Driver of the 18 Wheeler because I’m sure they feel awful!!

    • Debby Sutherland

      Ok, so obviously he shouldn’t have been riding there because he’s not here anymore. That is a foregone conclusion. This isn’t being ugly regarding the man that was killed it is warning everyone else not to ride bikes in Memphis on roads with drivers that you KNOW have no common sense…especially with 18 wheelers. I feel very bad for the family but let his life mean SOMETHING to others who may end up the same.

      • MacMadame

        By that logic, you should never drive your car on any road where another driver of a car was killed. I mean that’s a “foregone conclusion” since that driver isn’t here any more and any time you mix it up between a car and an 18 wheeler, that 18 wheeler is going to win. So if a driver dies, it’s a warning not to drive there! Hey, those are your words.

        I feel very bad for his family, both because they have lost a cherished family member, but also because they have to listen to illogical nonsense from people like you saying how he just shouldn’t have been there to begin with but, no, that’s not blaming him or anything. It’s just “common sense.”

        We don’t even know what happened yet. For all we know, the driver of the car was drunk or texting while driving or didn’t even have a license! (As happens all the time when a car hits someone and that person dies.) Instead of blaming the bicyclist for just *existing* and daring to ride his bike, why not push for drivers of cars to be held to higher standards as they drive their several ton killing machines down our highways? That would make everyone safer — even you.

        The reality is, people don’t want to have to slow down even for a few seconds. Everything else is window dressing. You can’t argue that other cars can’t be on the road when they slow you down so you pick on bicycles. Talk about “common sense” and “danger” when you are actually being illogical and driving a car is much more dangerous than being on a bike.

        This kid was having a grand adventure and, most likely since it now seems he wasn’t biking the wrong way as was reported earlier, given the statistics, he was mowed down by a distracted driver. Distracted drivers are a menace to everyone and taking bikes off the road isn’t going to stop them from killing someone you love some day.

        The only solution is to take the bad drivers off the road or turn them into good drivers, not demonize cyclists.

  • PatrickGSR94

    According to the Desoto Times article today, the cyclist was riding northbound on the southbound side, i.e. riding the wrong way, facing traffic, and appeared to have swerved into the traffic lane. He was likely riding either on the gravel shoulder or in the tiny space of asphalt between the white fog line and the edge of the pavement. This is why it is SO SO SO important to be as visible as possible, and ride WITH traffic! And ride in the traffic lane! That way you are much more predictable, and motorists can react much sooner. If he had been in the right lane on the road, riding with traffic, the trucker likely would have seen him much earlier, and changed lanes to pass, and the cyclist would still be here today.

  • Praying

    Well the Desoto County Times wasn’t there this man was riding on the right side of the road hwere he was supposed to be!

    • PatrickGSR94

      How do you know that? You passed the scene while driving so you really don’t know. The Desoto County Coroner reported that he had been traveling north on the southbound side. He was there on the scene so I would think he would know. It is a huge tragedy to be sure, but it just highlights how important it is for cyclists to follow the rules of the road, which includes riding WITH traffic.

  • Family

    Thanking @PRAYING. I am family. Iain was biking from Toronto to New Orleans and was blogging about his adventure. He’s 22, an only child and his parents are beyond devastated. This wasn’t some punk kid messing around on his bike. Thank you for praying for our family at this time. Words can’t describe how we feel right now.

    • Praying

      First let me say how sorry i am for your loss i couldn’t imagine going through what your going through!! I will continue to pray for you and your family just ignore all these idiots on here that no nothing about what is going on!!! Just keep faith in GOD!!!!

  • Praying

    For your Information i passed him twice while he was riding his bike!! i no which way he was riding!! and like i said HAVE SOME RESPECT AND STOP BLAMING HIM HES!!! if you woulda seen the cops pulling his lifeless body out of the ditch like i did you wouldn’t be on here blaming him!! this is the last post i will post !!!! have a blessed day and ill pray for you as well!!!

  • Evette

    Debby…give up. The bike mafia doesn’t get what some of us on here are TRYING to say.
    Let them keep riding their bikes on the road.

  • luvbreamfishin'

    I have seen these arrogant bike riders running the red lights, slowing down (on purpose) in the right lane,,i guess making a statement or something and darting out in traffic daring someone to hit them. If you are that STUPID to ride among 2 to 3 plus ton vehicles with a lightweight bike then you deserve whats coming to you…

  • cyclist

    The drunk stripe (unsure of the official name for that road modification) on the road took up most of what little shoulder there was for the biker to use. THe lack of a usable shoulder left him few options but to ride where he was riding (I passed him after changing lanes earlier in the day – 1/2 hour before the accident). He probably didn’t know the road was so bad when he planned his trip. I don’t think he was a local. Some times we end up on bad roads and dread it.

    • jseedubya

      We all take a chance when we vent it out on the roads, but if you choose to ride a bicycle on a major highway you are choosing to a huge risk. I’m surprised more people aren’t killed on there bikes than are. Regardless of what the “laws” are I would never be so stupid as to ride on a major highway, it’s way to risky.

      • MacMadame

        Riding a bicycle is relatively safe. You are much more likely to get into an accident in your car. You just accept the dangers of driving a car because you are used to them but that doesn’t stop them from being there.

        The dangers of riding a bike have been exaggerated by people who wanted to spend your tax money on bike lanes an so-called “protected” bike lanes that haven’t been shown to be any safer than just riding in the street. First they said bike lanes would get more people on bikes. When that didn’t happen, they declared that the lanes needed to be “protected” (have curbs and bollards and things sticking up that make it harder for both bikes and cars to make turns). When that doesn’t work, I don’t know what they’ll say next. That we need bike lanes in the sky? LOL

        What is stupid is to live your life according to fears not based on reality. Don’t let special-interest propaganda stop you from enjoying a nice bike ride or label people as “crazy” or “stupid” because they haven’t bought into the fear.

        The safest place to ride a bike is right out in the street where people can see you and react to you riding with traffic. The most dangerous is riding against traffic. In between is riding on a sidewalk, which is dangerous for the cyclist (who is more likely to be hit by a car at an intersection) but also for the pedestrians who have to deal with a vehicle mixing with foot traffic. People don’t drive cars on the sidewalk; they shouldn’t drive bikes there either.

      • cathy

        If you’ve ever tried to ride a bike on any of the Memphis area freeways or green lines on a nice day then you know that’s really where it’s scary. Bikes don’t belong on walkways with pedestrians. I’ve almost been hit by bikes while jogging and I’ve almost hit pedestrians while biking. You can make your presence known but many runners don’t hear you due to their earbuds. I try to avoid major hays on my bike .. but street riding is the way to go. I just wish the towns in this area would clean the curb lanes more often. Many times they are littered with glass, rocks and sticks. Pine cones also. Sometimes the bike lanes are like minefields.

  • jseedubya

    What did y’all do to my post? The first half of the post has been reworded so bad it don’t make any sense. Let’s fix this shall we. “Vent it” was “get”.
    “Choosing to” was “taking”. Let’s see if you get this right.

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