ATLANTA - Family and friends gathered in downtown Atlanta to remember a 37-year-old cyclist who was killed by a hit and run driver.
“He was honest, hardworking, loved his family as you can see from the turnout today,” David Whitlock said.
Whitlock’s son, Andrew, recently moved to Downtown Atlanta and became an avid cyclist.
“He was beginning to really enjoy riding bikes. He just sold his car,” Bill Whitlock said.
“He was a really nice guy. He moved downtown last year, was just glowing with his commute to work and his life downtown,” friend Susan Roe said.
Atlanta police said they were chasing a driver Monday while Andrew Whitlock was cycling near Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard and Luckie Street.
Detectives say the driver slammed into Andrew Whitlock and kept going, then dumped the car on Mozley Place in southwest Atlanta.
“Do we take someone off the street who committed serious crimes in the past at the risk of something like what happened to Andrew, or do we just let them go so they can do something bad to somebody else?” Bill Whitlock said.
Police said they called off the chase just before Andrew Whitlock was hit. They told Channel 2’s Craig Lucie on Thursday that they have no new leads in finding the driver.
“Five seconds either later or earlier at the intersection and this would have never happened,” Bill Whitlock said.
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David Matthews didn’t know the victim, but left behind a white bike near where he was killed.
“In the cycling community, what we try to do is offer that rider a final ride home, which is the ghost bike, which is the semblance of him crossing over on a white bike into heaven,” he said.
Matthews said he started the ghost bike program after he was hit head-on by a car in 2011. He said since then he has put up more than 55 bikes and many of them are still standing.
“You’re not by yourself. There are other people in the community that grieve with you and pray for you daily," Matthews said.
Bill Whitlock said the only person to blame is the driver, and they need your help to find them.
Anyone who was in the area and saw the incident should call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
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