Bruce Hagen advocates for all vulnerable road users in Georgia.
Eric Amis, Jr., was killed around Midnight on May 16 while he was riding on an E-scooter near the West Lake Marta station in Atlanta. In typical fashion, the police and media focused on all the wrong parts of the story. The driver who hit Mr. Amis was praised for “remaining at the scene of the accident and cooperating with investigators” as if that’s somehow a noble thing to do. Perhaps we’ve become so numb to all the Hit and Run cases that we actually think doing the right thing is noteworthy. Beyond that, the media ran with the story that Mr. Amis “came our of nowhere” that he rode his scooter “into the path of the car” and that the driver “didn’t have time to avoid the accident’
In our experience, speeding drivers who aren’t paying attention (and who may be distracted) often say things like that. When you’re not paying attention, of course you don’t have time to react quickly enough to avoid hitting someone. The very statement from the driver should be reason enough to dig deeper into the facts of the tragic death.
Local news approached Bruce Hagen for his thoughts, since Bruce is an advocate for vulnerable people in the state of Georgia, whether they’re on bikes, scooters or walking. Bruce hit the nail on the head when he said that the failure of local cities to provide safe spaces for vulnerable road users, combined with the high speed of drivers makes tragic incidents like Mr. Amis’ death inevitable.
Thankfully, the Atlanta police did not stop their investigation. After thoroughly looking into the facts of Mr. Amis’ death, the police brought charges against the driver. Narcory Wright has been charged with 2nd Degree Vehicular Homicide and speeding in connection with Mr. Amis’ death.
For the Amis’ family, while there is no replacing the loss of a loved one, there will hopefully be some solace in knowing that the person who is allegedly responsible for Mr. Amis’ death will be brought to justice. For the rest of Atlanta’s bicycling, scootering and walking community, it’s refreshing to see that our lives are at least valued enough for the APD to dig beyond the initial story and get to the facts of what really happened to Eric Amis. Hopefully, the right people within the City of Atlanta Government are listening and will do something about the abysmal condition of our streets and the need to take immediate action to make the roads safer for everyone, not just for car drivers.