Tuesday, March 27, 2012
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COVINGTON -- A 54-year-old man was killed in the early morning hours Tuesday when the motorized wheelchair he was driving in the traffic lane down U.S. Highway 278 was struck by a motorist, according to the Covington Police Department.
The victim has been identified as Timothy Lee Carithers of Adams Street.
"He subsequently died at Newton Medical Center," said CPD Public Information Officer Capt. Ken Malcom. "The Georgia State Patrol was notified and the investigation was turned over to their Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team."
GSP spokesman Gordy Wright said the accident happened near the intersection with Cook Street around 12:10 a.m.
"(Carithers) was eastbound on 278 and was hit from behind by a Honda Civic ... The chair had no lights or reflective tape and belonged to the victim's mother," Wright said.
Wright said it is not believed that Carithers himself was disabled nor that he required a wheelchair.
"From what the trooper has been told from interviews overnight, this was more of a recreational use than a medical necessity," Wright said.
The driver of the Honda, a 27-year-old Covington man, has not been charged.
Malcom said authorities were not sure what Carithers was doing out in the wheelchair.
"He wasn't near the crosswalk. There are designated areas where a device like that can cross, but it is not a designated vehicle that is allowed to operate on the highway," he said.