Sardis, MS (May 15, 2022) - Panola County Sheriff’s Office investigators were called to the scene after a cyclist was struck and killed on the main levee of Sardis Lake at the John Kyle State Park on Thursday, May 12th.
It has since been confirmed that the victim was an off-duty police officer with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Trooper Roderick Sharp.
Authorities in Panola County have a person of interest in custody and are preparing to begin inquiries as the investigation continues.
Sharp’s body was sent for forensic examination and autopsy.
An official said they expect charges to be filed by Friday if the person of interest is determined to have been involved in the hit-and-run incident. Additional state agencies have been requested to aid in the investigation, including a team that specializes in crash scene reconstruction.
At about 6:00 p.m. Panola dispatchers received a report when four game wardens from South Carolina who were in town to participate in a youth clay shooting competition being held at McIvor Shooting Facility happened upon Sharp’s body and his bicycle on the levee that divides the lower lake from the upper lake in Sardis.
Due to their training in law enforcement, the wardens were able to give investigators details regarding a vehicle they noticed parked near the scene, including pictures they had the foresight to take that showed the vehicle’s license plate number.
Using that information, the sheriff’s office was able to track down the vehicle and detain a person of interest.
Detectives said that the rainstorm and heavy winds that blew through Panola County at that time hindered initial attempts to process the crime scene.
We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased victim, Trooper Roderick Sharp, at this time.
Causes of Fatal Mississippi Bicycle Accidents
While an inordinate amount of bicycle casualties take place in developed, urban areas, they can take place any time, anywhere.
Some of the most common causes of Mississippi bicycle fatalities include:
- Speeding: Drivers who disregard the speed limit pose a threat to everyone on the roadway, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. The repercussions that accompany speeding are usually exacerbated by inclement weather conditions, the landscape, road hazards, and what traffic is like at the time of the incident.
- Distracted driving: This infraction can be committed by both drivers and bicycle riders. Drivers who are distracted by text messages, phone calls, consuming food and drink, or attempting to read directions can easily overlook a cyclist on the roadway. The same is true of cyclists if they are engaged with their phones or concentrating on their headphones. Even one moment of inattention involves taking your eyes off the road and missing a vehicle, a pothole, or some other peril.
- Riding too close to a lane: Accidents are almost sure to happen anytime a motor vehicle passes too close to a person riding a bike. Mississippi law requires motorists to leave at least three feet of space between them and a cyclist, even when they are trying to pass.
If you were hurt or lost a family member due to the recklessness, dereliction, or negligence of another person, then we urge you to have your claim assessed. Contact our personal injury lawyers in Mississippi by calling (601) 487-0555 to schedule your free consultation.
Note: The information provided within these posts has been gathered from outside sources, for Germany Law Firm, PLLC, and, as such, has not been independently verified. All provided information has been gathered from secondary sources including news bulletins and other first-hand accounts. If you find any information that is incorrect or you would like this post to be removed, please contact our law firm immediately so that we can correct the story or remove it entirely from the website.
Disclaimer: At Germany Law Firm, PLLC, we provide the information found in these accident reports as a resource for families who have been in similar situations and to raise awareness about the dangers of driving. We would also like to honor the victims who have been injured or lost their life as a result of a Mississippi accident and hope that the information reported will help prevent future accidents. The photographs depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene.