Teen Was Speeding, Texting When Cyclist Hit
ATTALA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A teenager was driving between 68 and 78 miles per hour and texting when he struck and killed a well-known doctor who was cycling on the Natchez Trace Parkway last May.
A federal park ranger report obtained by Boswell Media and Breezynews.com says the 17-year-old was distracted by his phone texting and failed to react in time to avoid Dr. Gary Holdiness as they both traveled south on the Trace.
The accident happened about three miles south of Kosciusko on May 6, 2012.
The teen’s SUV struck Holdiness less than two feet from the shoulder of the road and tossed him almost 180 feet. At the time, the teen told rangers Holdiness’ foot appeared to slip on this bike’s pedal and he swerved into the SUV’s path but the rangers’ report says the accident happened too close to the shoulder for that to have been the circumstances and that the doctor’s feet were strapped into the pedals, making a slip even less likely.
The teen’s phone records showed a text at almost the time of impact and a call to 911 a minute later.
Holdiness was a well-known Kosciusko doctor and cyclist whose son died in a traffic accident in 2004.