Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

February 25, 2014

Fatal crash still under investigation

AMERICUS — Authorities are hopeful to know by the end of this week what caused the fatal crash Saturday evening that killed Sam Singletary, 47, of Americus. Funeral services were held Tuesday for Singletary, who was driving the motorcycle that was involved in the accident.

Trooper Billy Cope with the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) told the Times-Recorder Tuesday afternoon that a new eyewitness had come forward Monday with new details of what occurred. In addition, video had been obtained from a a nearby convenience store and five to six other witnesses have contributed information. Cope said the video footage will be reviewed, witness testimony will be finalized and details will be shared with the victim’s family before the report is made public.

According to a preliminary report from the GSP Post 10 Americus, the motorcycle-pickup truck accident occurred at 7:36 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of U.S. Highways 280 and 19.

Trooper David McLemore of GSP Post 10, Americus, said a pickup truck driven by Gregory Leonard, 53, of Canton was traveling on U.S. Highway 280 and turning north onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard (U.S. 19). A motorcycle, driven by Singletary, was traveling west on (U.S. 280) Spring Street and struck the pickup, as it was turning, in the driver’s side around the front wheel area. The trooper’s initial report was that the pickup truck appeared to try to beat the turn light ending and may have turned in front of the motorcycle. The exact cause of the accident will be determined by Troop G’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT).

On Monday, two motorcyclists stood at the intersection where the accident occurred, sharing a strong message with the public.

Dennis Crenshaw and Mickey Studdard were parked on the concrete curbs at the intersection holding up ABATE of Georgia and Share the Road signs.

Crenshaw was asked when he decided he do this.

“This afternoon when I rode by it,” he said. “I came by here to see where it happened at and I got the notion. I said ‘I’ve got to go. I’ve got to look out for the other motorcyclists ... people just run over us.’”

Crenshaw said he has been promoting “Share the Road” for over 30 years.

He had some advice for all motorists.

“Please watch out for motorcyclists,” he said. “Share the road with us. ‘Look twice, save a life’ is our theme. Motorcyclists are everywhere and people just don’t look out for us. That’s what happened here.”

Crenshaw was also asked how important he thinks this would be to Sam Singletary that he was out trying to raise awareness.

“It’s too late for Sam, but I believe that he would be along with it. I really do,” he said.

Leonard, the pickup driver, was charged initially with DUI and open container with other charges pending, according to the trooper. Singletary was taken to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center where he died of his injuries. The SCRT investigation is continuing.

 In addition to the GSP, Americus Police, Sumter County Sheriff’s deputies, EMS and first responders were all on the scene. The DOT arrived to close off the intersection while the investigation was underway. The GSP investigation is looking for any additional witnesses to this crash. If you were a witness to the crash you can contact Post 10 at 931-2397 or Senior Trooper William Cope with SCRT at 404-430-8565.

ABATE of Georgia (American Bikers Active Toward Education) is composed of motorcyclists from all areas of the state, from all walks of life, and who ride all makes of bikes. ABATE is not a club, but a politically active organization working on motorcyclists’ rights. They are affiliated with national rights groups like the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM).

The main focus of ABATE is to keep motorcycle legislation in its proper perspective. ABATE's goal is to keep lawmakers informed of their members’ collective position on motorcycle-related legislation.

Rider education and public awareness of motorcyclists are also goals of ABATE. They are not against the wearing of helmets, but encourage all riders to ride safely.

Dennis Crenshaw said that there are about 10 members of ABATE in the Americus area and they need a lot more.



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