Distracted Driver Assaults 13-Year-Old Cyclist

A boy on a bicycle was almost sideswiped by the driver of a pickup truck because the driver was texting on his cell phone. This Georgia near-miss bicycle and car accident could have been deadly, but it wasn't. However, an assault did occur.

Brody Hartley, 13, was riding his bike near the intersection of Lilburn Stone Mountain Road and Hugh Howell Road in DeKalb County, when he was almost hit by a vehicle due to a distracted driver behind the wheel. Hartley said that the driver passed him on Lilburn Stone Mountain Road, and was not even a foot away. Frightened, the boy rode up to the intersection, where the pickup truck stopped. Hartley then saw the driver texting on his phone. Hartley told the driver, "You almost hit me back there. Could you put the phone away?"

Hartley told the media that William Tinnell, the 45-year-old driver of the pickup truck, told Hartley to pull over to talk to him. They both pulled into a gas station, and Hartley said that Tinnell and his 18-year-old daughter shoved him and kicked his bike. Hartley said that Mr. Tinnell and his daughter both pushed him into the street. Hartley also said that Tinnell told him that he shouldn't be riding his bike on the street.

The 13-year-old bicyclist said that the shoving popped his shoulder out of place and that his collar bone was separated because the assault aggravated an old injury.

After this attack in DeKalb County, police found William and Brittney Tinnell and arrested them for assaulting the 13-year-old boy. The man and daughter have been released on bond. However, they face simple assault and battery charges.

Tinnell didn't realize the cyclist was only a 13 years old, and has offered to pay for damages to the bike.

Hartley told reporters that he only has one message for drivers: "Be more careful, don't text and drive."

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Categories: Cycling Accidents