Man Charged with 7 Counts after Killing Man on Bicycle in Sandy Springs, Georgia
TRIGGER WARNING. THIS POST INCLUDES DETAILS THAT THOSE SUFFERING FROM TRAUMA AS A RESULT OF ROAD VIOLENCE MAY WANT TO AVOID (see here for support services, if you are in need of them)
There were about thirty of us in the Fulton County courtroom yesterday, mostly virtually. In addition to Judge Rickman, Assistant District Attorney Mike Sprinkels, and several lawyers and defendants for multiple cases, there was Maria Borowik of Bikelaw (whom you met during the “You Go, Girl” series) and a woman named Anna Mayer tapping in from Germany.
Anna is the sister of Felix Mayer. Felix Mayer was killed by a man driving a truck on April 24, 2020 in the Metro Atlanta city of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Leonardo Angulo Banos of Norcross, GA is the man who was driving that truck. Felix Mayer’s wife, Gao, could not attend because she is too traumatized. Felix Mayer lived in my city of Dunwoody, Georgia with Gao and their young children.
His widow asked City of Dunwoody City Councilor Joe Seconder (you’ve met Councilor Seconder here previously) to encourage other people who ride bikes to attend. As Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor, a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor, a People for Bikes ambassador, a mom and a wife like Gao, a citizen, a participant at the dedication of the ghost bike at the spot where this crash occurred (pictured below), and a survivor of road violence while traveling at the speed of bike, I chose to attend.
The hearing lasted a little over an hour and a half. The majority of that time was spent by ADA Sprinkels questioning City of Sandy Springs Officer Charles Needham, who was the officer who responded to the multiple 911 calls and served as the investigative researcher.
Office Needham is a crash reconstruction expert with hundreds of cases under his belt as well as hundreds of hours of training (core training of 280 hours plus at least 300 more hours), including additional specialized pedestrian and bicycle investigation training just one month before this incident.
Officer Needham offered what could be considered a master class in crash reconstruction yesterday. He explained in detail the obvious evidence — a man in a bright blue top with a white helmet…