Cyclist who died faced DUI


A bicyclist who died Thursday after a crash on Folly Road was facing a felony drunk driving charge in connection with another accident that killed a man just down the street.

Matthew Reid Fisher, 31, was fatally injured just a couple miles away from the spot where his car slammed into 25-year-old Beau James Froehlich outside the Skinful Halloween party on Oct. 23. Froehlich died from broken bones and a massive head injury, authorities said.

Investigators charged Fisher with felony under the influence in that case. He was free on bail and awaiting trial at the time of Thursday’s crash near 2323 Folly Road and Crosby’s Seafood.

Fisher’s was riding his bicycle at 4:45 p.m. when he hit the side of a sport utility vehicle traveling in the same direction, Charleston County sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said. The impact caused Fisher to lose control of the bike and a second vehicle struck him, he said.

Writer Chris Dixon ran outside his nearby office after someone shouted that an accident had occurred.

Dixon said people already were performing CPR on Fisher, who lay unresponsive in the roadway. His bicycle was stuck under the passenger side of the car. A young woman stood sobbing on the side of the road as she talked into a cellphone, Dixon said.

“He was wearing a helmet, but the car apparently ran right over him,” Dixon said. “It was terrible, just a really bad scene all the way around.”

Fisher was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later at Medical University Hospital from blunt-force-trauma injuries, Charleston County Chief Deputy Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal said.

Fisher was a Greenville native who listed his address as Summerville, though authorities said he appeared to be staying around Charleston. At the time of his October arrest he was said to be a master’s degree student at S.C. State University who was working two jobs.

David Aylor, one of his attorneys, said Fisher kept working and concentrating on his studies as he awaited trial. He described his client as a very bright man.

“He came from a good family,” Aylor said. “It’s just a tragic situation for them.”

After the October fatality, Froehlich’s father, Kenneth, placed blame for the accident on the organizers of Skinful, calling the party a “sanctioned rave” set in “the darkest corner of Folly Road.”

Organizers pointed to the heavy security hired for the event and other precautions, including four free shuttles for thousands of partygoers and an explicit warning on Skinful’s website not to walk along the road.

Still, Froehlich’s father vowed to stop the party from happening again. “There are two victims in this, my son and Mr. Matthew,” Froehlich told a judge at the time.

He could not be reached for comment Friday on Fisher’s death.

The Sheriff’s Office said it did not have a report available on Thursday’s crash, and Brady said the sheriff’s department was not prepared to release the names of the drivers involved in the wreck.

Seven bicycle fatalities have occurred in Charleston County since 2009, including two on Folly Road, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Tom Bradford, director of Charleston Moves, which supports more bike and pedestrian routes, said Folly Road is one of the most active bike routes in the Lowcountry. And the section where Thursday’s crash occurred is one of the more well-established bike lanes along that route.

“We’re grateful for every inch we can get,” he said. “And as far as I know, the bikes lanes out there are pretty good.”

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