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On September 6, 2011 Thomas Pattillo of Flowery Branch was out for his regular morning exercise ride. As a rider myself, I will often ride early in the morning so as to avoid early rush hour traffic. The accident occurred in Flowery Branch when a car traveling from behind in the same direction failed to see the cyclist. The car struck Mr. Patillo and he died shortly thereafter. Much like Mr. Pattillo, I am a cyclist and father of two children. The accident is something that could have been avoided had the automobile driver been alert to his surroundings. Many drivers feel "invisible" and safe in the confines of their cars, which contributes to drivers eating, applying makeup and brushing their hair...and also to them being totally unaware of their surroundings. If you are a biker and you are brave enough to "Share the Road," the burden of safety rides on your shoulders. Physics aside (heavyweight car v. lightweight bicycle), a cyclist in the open air with no "protective" coating of steel or see-through glass is naturally going to be the first to sense any sort of danger. A collision with a tree or a pile of sticks is going to hurt a lot less than one with a truck.
Our Hearts and Prayers go out to the victim’s family.