Prominent doctor remembered after fatal bike accident

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A prominent doctor was killed while riding his bicycle with his cycling club. Police say a car hit him from behind.

Friends and family told Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes that Dr. John Harsch started cycling more than 10 years ago after he began having health issues.

Friend and fellow cyclist Dr. Peto Fallas said Harsch had arthritis issues with his hip and decided cycling would help.

He joined the Southern Crescent Cycling Group and that's when he and Harsch became good friends.

“He always saw everyone as a friend and I think the social aspect of cycling always drew him into our group,” Fallas told Fernandes. “We're all in shock, to be honest with you.”

Harsch was riding with three of his friends around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Lower Woolsey Road at Highway 1941 when police said he was hit from behind by a car.

The 59-year-old doctor later died of his injuries.

“What we need to do is grab the tragedy and try to make something positive out of it,” Fallas said.

Fernandes spoke to friends and family members of Harsch, and everyone talked about his kindness and humbleness.

He was named one of Atlanta's top doctors eight times but you would never hear him talk about it.

“He was a phenomenal human being,” Fallas told Fernandes.

Henry County police said the driver who hit Harsch stopped and is cooperating with police.

Investigators are reconstructing the accident. They are having tests done on the driver's blood and they will present the findings to a grand jury to see if charges are warranted.