MILTON, Ga. - Police have now charged a driver they say illegally passed a truck and then slammed into a cyclist, killing him.
The victim, Jason Young, 45, was a husband and father of three. He died three days after the crash on Wednesday.
“His smile was infectious. His smile, his laughter – I think that’s what we’re all going to remember the most about Jason,” his friend Brian Skouras said.
Young’s friends say Young was on his weekly Wednesday night ride from Woodstock to Milton with a group of cyclists when he and several others were hit by a pickup truck. Police say the driver, John Blankenship, crossed the yellow line while trying to pass a box truck on a two lane road.
"I was just in the house and I heard a big thump sound,” said neighbor Karen White, who is also a nurse.
White was working in a home just yards away and rushed out to see Young laying on the side of the road. His bicycle was smashed into pieces.
“He was just straight out of it and wasn't responding, but he had his friends talking to him saying help is on the way and things like that,” White said.
Young hung on for three days but his head injuries were too severe. Police tell us they charged Blankenship, the pickup's driver, with felony vehicular homicide and reckless driving for crossing the double yellow line on Freemanville Road.
“He was passing a large vehicle on a blind curve and that's ultimately what led to the accident,” said Capt. Shawn McCarty with the Milton Police Department.
Blankenship remained in the Fulton County Jail Monday. Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt learned a judge denied Blankenship bond Monday. He has another court date later this month.
Meanwhile, Young’s friends are calling for increased safety for cyclists as they continue to mourn his death.
“I know going to the hospital one evening, the amount of people who were there from cyclists to runners he was coaching along the way at the high school, he touched so many lives,” Skouras said.