On May 14, at approximately 7 p.m. the Starkville Police Department responded to Highway 25 near Pinelake Church to a report of an accident with a cyclist. Once on scene officers found an unresponsive individual. OCH Regional Medical Center EMTs and Coroner Mike Hunt arrived on scene and pronounced 54-year old John “Jay” Burrell, of Starkville, dead. Burrell was struck by an automobile while riding a bicycle. Burrell will undergo an autopsy at the Mississippi Crime Lab. This incident is still under investigation.

The Starkville Police Department wants to remind everyone, anything that takes your mind, your eyes, or your hands off of your primary task – driving – is a distraction. We talk about cell phones a lot, and rightfully so. But there are other things that people do behind the wheel that are also distractions: eating or drinking, talking to other passengers, applying makeup, combing hair, using a navigation system, reading – including newspapers, books, or even maps, adjusting the radio or MP3 player.

One of the many things covered in the John Paul Frerer Bicycle Safety Act is: While passing a bicyclist on a roadway, a motorist shall leave a safe distance of not less than three (3) feet between his vehicle and the bicyclist and shall maintain such clearance until safely past the bicycle. For more information go to http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2010/pdf/SB/3000-3099/SB3014SG.pdf