Drunk Driver Runs Over Atlanta Transportation Planners

Many of you have heard about the horrific multi-victim crash from October 7, 2021, in which a Chattanooga driver brutally plowed her car into a group of 5 pedestrians as they were crossing a street, causing catastrophic and life changing injuries. In the chaotic aftermath of running a red light and almost killing an entire group of people, there were reports that the driver fled the scene.  After further investigation, it was determined that the driver, later identified by Chattanooga police as Crystal Insley, age 35, did not flee; however, one of her passengers did so on foot. 



The tragic irony of this catastrophic crash is that the group of pedestrians Ms. Insley struck are local Atlanta advocates who were  there to attend a planning meeting for the Georgia Chapter of the American Planning Association.  One of the victims, Kemberli Sargent, is the Vision Zero Manager for the City of Atlanta’s Department of Transportation.  Kemberli and her fellow colleagues from the Georgia Department of Transportation and Atlanta Regional Commission, including Paul Leonhardt and Elizabeth Sandlin, were attending the conference in Tennessee to help their efforts in reducing traffic fatalities in Atlanta, thereby  making our city a safer place for pedestrians and bicyclists to walk and ride.   Yet, as they were crossing an intersection controlled by a traffic light which indisputably gave them the right of way, Ms. Insley, speeding and allegedly intoxicated, ran them down and nearly killed them all.

In other words, the very people who devote their personal and professional lives to making the streets of Atlanta and all of Georgia safer for pedestrians and bicyclists and EVERY roadway user were horrifically victimized by a maniacal criminal who turned her vehicle into a weapon that almost cost my clients and fellow advocates their lives.   



Crystal Insley was arrested and has been charged with multiple offenses including DUI, 4 Felony Counts of Aggravated Assault, a Red Light Violation, Reckless Driving, Lack of Due Care, Speeding, Driving too Fast for Conditions, Failure to Yield Right of Way Resulting in Death or Injury, and Financial Responsibility for the geometric damages and harm she caused.   Ms. Insley currently remains in jail and is scheduled to appear in Court for the first time in this matter on October 25th.  We will continue to closely monitor the prosecution to ensure that Ms. Insley is held fully accountable with a complete range of criminal consequences for her actions that day.Georgia Drunk Driver


In addition to the 5 pedestrians mentioned above, Ashley Finch and her partner Sarah Lashinsky were also victims of Ms. Insley’s criminal behavior.  

 The crash itself was recorded in gruesome detail by the surveillance and security cameras of local businesses.  They provide multiple angles of the crash, all of which make it abundantly clear that (a) the group of pedestrians who were victimized absolutely had the right of way and were lawfully and responsibly crossing the street with the traffic light and crossing beacon in their favor; (b) every last one of the pedestrians were crossing in the designated crosswalk; and, (c ) the driver, Ms. Insley, illegally blew through her red light at a very high speed exhibiting  complete disregard for the human lives she came too close to taking.  Due to the disturbing graphic nature of the video footage we’ve collected, our desire to protect the integrity of the ongoing criminal proceedings, and most importantly, out of respect for the multiple victims in this crash, we are not attaching the footage to this update. 

We can, however, show you where this crash occurred. Here is the intersection where Ms. Sargent, Ms. Sandlin and Mr. Leonhardt, as well as their companions, were struck and nearly killed.     

You can also read the local news report here.  



 There are many questions that remain unanswered: 

  1. If the driver was drunk as suspected, where had she been drinking?   Was she over-served at a local bar or at someone’s home where any reasonable person potentially serving her should have known Ms. Insley would then get behind the wheel of her car, significantly increasing the risk of causing the massive harm that she ultimately did?   
  2. Local business people and residents testify that there have been multiple previous conflicts between drivers and pedestrians at this very intersection.   If that is in fact the case (and these traffic incidents were reported), did the responsible Government authorities or agencies design or create a dangerous intersection that should have been thoughtfully redesigned after being put on notice and certainly before this tragedy occurred? 
  3. If these other incidents were documented and/or reported, what traffic calming safety measures, if any, were taken to prevent further harm to others? 
  4. Could these horrible injuries have been avoided by something as simple as a City, State, or County Government meeting its duty to provide the kind of infrastructure deserved by all roadway users, but especially those most vulnerable like pedestrians and bicyclists?  
  5. And on a macro scale, what can we do to ensure that all responsible parties and agencies prioritize the lives of human beings who are not encapsulated inside the protective steel cage of a multi-ton motor vehicle the same way they do for those who are inside of one? 

People who choose to walk or ride a bicycle should never be punished or forced to suffer the way these pedestrians and impassioned advocates have simply for choosing to walk or ride. We simply cannot and will not allow the continued marginalization and catastrophic destruction that occurs every time a vulnerable person is assaulted, struck, or killed by a negligent roadway user who’s behind the wheel of a car.

Please stay tuned for further updated details as they become available.  In the meantime, we are demanding that justice be served cold, harshly, and in a timely fashion to this driver whose reckless disregard for the lives of so many others has caused such immeasurable pain.   


Rachael Maney Nov 08, 2021

WALLER 6 UPDATE: November 20, 2021 The teenage son of Jason and Jennifer Arnold, who, with their permission, was operating his parents’ F-250 diesel truck when he plowed into our 6 clients while they were riding their bicycles on September 25th, 2021 in Waller, Texas, was released to his parents on Thursday afternoon (11/18/21) after […]

Read More
Atlanta Bike Crash
Peter Wilborn Oct 25, 2021

Many of you have heard about the horrific multi-victim crash from October 7, 2021, in which a Chattanooga driver brutally plowed her car into a group of 5 pedestrians as they were crossing a street, causing catastrophic and life changing injuries. In the chaotic aftermath of running a red light and almost killing an entire […]

Read More
Waller Bike Crash Carnage
Rachael Maney Oct 02, 2021

PRESS RELEASE FROM BIKE LAW’S NATIONAL DIRECTOR RACHAEL MANEY In light of the recent Waller Bike Crash in Texas, and in an effort to help untangle and unpack some of the emotionally-charged comments, questions, and inaccurate assumptions being made, we want to update you on the parts that we can share. I hope that this […]

Read More
Brother James
Peter Wilborn Sep 29, 2021

23 years ago today, the world lost my brother Jim. He was killed on his bike by an under-aged driver who blew through a red light. While the years don’t really blunt the loss, they foster gratitude for the gifts left behind. My brother blessed me with so much, but 3 things stand out:   […]

Read More
Family bicycle charity
Bike Law Aug 17, 2021

GUEST POST BY BIKE LAW AMBASSADOR KURT AREHART The bike charity Raleigh Community Kickstand, or just Kickstand for short, is a four year-old project organized under Oaks & Spokes, a 501(c)(3) engaged in fostering cycling in Raleigh. Kickstand channels donated bicycles to low-income and homeless members of our community whose lives can be improved with […]

Read More
Contributory negligence Bike crash
Ann Groninger May 08, 2021

If you’ve met me, you’ve heard talk about contributory negligence many times, including here and here and here. My vocation and my passion as a bike crash attorney is representing injured bicyclists and families of bicyclists who have been killed by careless drivers. Contributory negligence severely impairs the right of these individuals and bicyclists to […]

Read More
Asian-American Triathlete
Rachael Maney May 04, 2021

Bike Month 2021 is setting the bar pretty high. Two days ago, Sika Henry became the first Black woman to earn her pro card in the sport of triathlon. And today, Bike Law and I are honored and excited to announce our sponsorship of the only Asian-American racing on the professional triathlon circuit, Clarice Chastang […]

Read More
Cycliq video close call
Rachael Maney Apr 22, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2021 Jon Korin, President Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (‘BikeAAA’) 443-685-4103, [email protected]   Rachael Maney, National Director Bike Law 410-382-7803, [email protected]   DRIVER CONVICTED ON CYCLIQ VIDEO EVIDENCE Christopher Lee Bradshaw of Lothian, MD was convicted of violating Maryland’s 3-foot bicycle passing law and negligent driving on […]

Read More
cycling friendship
Ann Groninger Apr 21, 2021

Cycling friendships are wonderful benefit to our sport and community.  A major part of our work as bicycle “accident” lawyers means putting a value on losses that our clients suffer as a result of injures from crashes. When it comes to past and future medical expenses, lost income and other financial losses, the job is […]

Read More
Load More