New details emerge in death of 17-year-old bike, officer unaware of state bike laws – WSB-TV Channel 2
BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has new developments after an officer’s report blames a 17-year-old for her own death after being hit by an impaired driver as she was cycling home.
Family attorney Bruce Hagen said law enforcement may have gotten the information wrong.
Pauline Osuegbu’s daughter, Obianuju Osuegbu, was killed on Highway 11 in Winder, County Barrow in August 2020.
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Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston went to GSP headquarters on Wednesday afternoon and received a 59-page Georgia State Patrol report written by the collision reconstruction team.
The report says the driver, Chrissy Rawlins, who used multiple drugs while driving, was not at fault as Osuegbu had no lights on the back of her bike and was not riding on the right side of the road, and was not wearing reflective clothing.
Bruce Hagen, the lawyer for the Osuegbu family, which runs bike law training for police officers, said the responding officer and the GSP reconstruction team had investigated the accident but were unfamiliar with Georgia’s bicycle laws. Hagen said Georgia laws don’t require bikes to have lights as long as there are reflectors, which the 17-year-old bike already had on them.
He pulled out the statutes to show what they said about state bike laws.
“Specifically here, vehicles approaching from behind, any other vehicles or vehicles being passed or slowed to make a legal turn will be deemed to meet the objectives of this section of the code,” Hagen said.
Hagen said Obianuju Osuegbu was turning left and had a reflector on his bike.
He also said Rawlins should be charged with vehicular homicide because of the toxicology report. He said she had four drugs in her system, including methamphetamine and Valium. She was charged with impaired driving and endangering her own children, who were in the car at the time of the accident.
“Endangering her children but not the death of Pauline’s child,” Hagen said.
Hagen and Pauline Osuegbu said they would not stop until they got justice.
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