By TERESA STEPZINSKI
A bicyclist has been charged with causing the death of a Ware County woman who swerved her car to avoid hitting him then collided with a tractor-trailer Wednesday night in Waycross.
Ronald Dale, 18, of Waycross has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to obey a stop sign resulting in the 6:14 p.m. collision that killed 33-year-old Sarah Elaine Cribb Poss, said Waycross police Chief Tony Tanner.
Dale is accused of running a stop sign at Garlington Avenue and pedaling his bicycle in front of Poss, who was driving a 2001 Ford Taurus west on U.S. 82. Poss, of Waycross, immediately swerved to avoid Dale, and succeeded in missing him, Tanner said.
“When she swerved to avoid him, she lost control and her vehicle slid into a tractor-trailer that was traveling east on [U.S. 82]. Her car went underneath the trailer,” Tanner said.
Poss died instantly at the scene, county Coroner Atha Lucas said.
The truck driver, John W. Geiger, 62, of Waycross wasn’t injured, nor was Dale, Tanner said.
If convicted, Dale faces up to 12 months in jail in the case that District Attorney Rick Currie said is the first of its kind in the Waycross Judicial Circuit that includes Ware, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Coffee and Pierce counties.
In Georgia, second-degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor crime that occurs when a death results from various traffic offenses, including running a stop sign, the law states.
First-degree vehicular homicide is a felony – punishable by three to 15 years in prison – that occurs when a death results when someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; is fleeing police; or is a habitual violator, according to the law.
The highway was closed for about four hours after the collision as rescue crews and police investigators worked at the crash scene.