It is with a heavy heart that we post about a recent tragic bicycle crash in Hampton. We have written repeatedly about a growing trend across America. That trend is the apparent difficulty that motor vehicles are having sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists. And now a beloved Henry County doctor has lost his life in a bicycle accident. He was riding his bicycle with a group of others and was struck by a vehicle. As the group was riding, a motor vehicle hit the doctor’s bike from the rear. No other bicyclist was hit or harmed. However, the doctor was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and passed away from his injuries.
Although we do not normally name the victim of accidents in our blog posts, we believe the public should know about this wonderful man. Dr. John A. Harsch, the victim of this accident is said by all to have been a beloved physician and a popular and enthusiastic cyclist. His community and the wider Georgia cycling and medical communities mourn his loss. His devotion to medicine and the healing arts are only some of the important things for which he was known. He loved cycling and had a generous heart — going out of his way to help those in need.
The accident occurred in a location that involved a curve in the road. After the vehicle made a turn, for unknown reasons, the driver struck the cyclist. Authorities have said that the accident is under investigation. At the present time, it is not determined whether charges will be filed against the driver for the death of the cyclist. A grand jury will make the decision whether the driver will be charged.
The initial reports indicate that the driver may well have been distracted when making the turn that ended up striking down this wonderful man. We do not know whether this accident was due to driver distraction. But regardless, we cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to drive distracted. Every day we see drivers on the roads with their phones in hand texting and believing that they can avoid making a mistake. Even if law enforcement were able to cite more drivers who engage in this dangerous activity, they would not be able to keep up with the apparent violations for those texting while driving. Although we do not have statistics on who is more likely to do this, we know that no matter what age or occupation, this is a very risky and dangerous thing to do. No matter how smart or coordinated you are, you cannot beat the statistics. Driving distracted does not work and it can end up taking a life, perhaps your own.
Not only has the community lost a valuable person and a family has lost a loved one, but Georgia has lost another great contributor, someone who devoted his life to helping others. The service for Dr. Harsch will be held today at 10:30 am at St. James The Apostle Catholic Church, 1000 GA Hwy 155 N, McDonough. Donations can be made to Hands of Hope Clinic, 1010 Hospital Drive, Stockbridge, GA 30281.
Scholle Law sends our condolences to the entire community and to the loved ones and friends of Dr. Harsch.